"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Fundamentalism's Fury Needs One Who Needles

The Christian Century, an evangelical magazine who once counted Reinhold Niebuhr as a contributing editor, has posted an article about LifeWay's decision to remove the Gospel Today Magazine from their bookshelves because of Gospel Today's October cover story.

In The Christian Century article, the writer quotes several sentences from my blog as I offered my opinion regarding the controversial LifeWay decision. What caught my interest was the phrase the writer used in introducing me:

Burleson, a pastor in Enid, Oklahoma, who often needles SBC officials, asked September 24 on his blog . . .

I paused for a moment to ponder the word "needles." A minute later I looked up the definition and found this:

Needle: To torment with persistent insult or ridicule

Someone once opined that perception is personal truth, reality is objective truth, and rare is the occasion when the two actually meet. I do not perceive myself as a needler of Southern Baptist Convention leadership, but I accept that The Christian Century, my Baptist Identity friends, and a handful of SBC leaders see me that way. I perceive myself a supporter of the SBC (I led my church to increase Cooperative Program giving last year), a defender of SBC missionaries, agency employees and administrators (we hired them to do a job, and we should trust them to do it well), and a Southern Baptist for the long haul (I've been a Southern Baptist my entire life, and I willingly continue my affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention).

To Question Stupid SBC Decisions Is Not Needling, It's Needed

My wife and I were rocking along the earlier part of this decade, raising a family, pastoring a church, loving Oklahoma and our Southern Baptist Convention, when we both were awakened to a radical change occurring within the SBC - a change that caught us by surprise.

We discovered missionaries were being fired. At the time we said nothing because, like most Southern Baptists, we believed the issue was a denial of the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God - and by golly, we want Bible believers on our mission field.

Then, when I became a trustee of the International Mission Board, I realized to my horror that the issue in the Southern Baptist Convention was not a battle for a belief in the the inspired, inerrant Word of God. I trust my moderate friends will be patient as I restate what I just wrote in the preceding sentence. Had it been proven to me at the grassroots level of the SBC that the problem with our Convention was a denial by some of the sufficiency, inspiration or inerrancy of God's Word, I would never have second thoughts about my involvement in "The Battle for the Bible." Some may wish to debate with me the propriety of using the word "inerrant" to describe the Bible, but The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy defines the word inerrant for me, and I have absolutely, positively, not one iota of a problem using the Chicago understanding of "inerrancy" as a descriptive adjective of the Bible.

But, I discovered as a trustee of the IMB that inerrancy is no longer the issue in the Southern Baptist Convention; we have a much worse problem we are battling. Frankly, because of the way I have seen some of my fellow Southern Baptists who hold to inerrancy treated in this new millenium by other Southern Baptists who also profess to hold to inerrancy, I now have doubts about the veracity of the claim that the issue in the Southern Baptist Convention was ever a battle for a belief in the inerrant Bible in the first place. Let me illustrate.

The Problem in the SBC Is a Rejection of Conservative Evangelicals Who Disagree With Fundementalist Interpretations of the Sacred Writ.

I have seen an excellent Hebrew professor fired from teaching Hebrew at Southwestern Theological Seminary (Sheri Klouda), forced to sell her own blood to meet expenses, all because of a Fundamentalist interpretation that a woman should not teach men. I have seen an outstanding female supervisor (Wendy Norvelle) at the International Mission Board promoted by Dr. Rankin to be the Vice-President, only to see Rankin's recommendation overturned by Fundamentalist trustee leaders who forced their Fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible that "no woman shall lead a man" upon IMB administration. I have seen IMB trustees force their Fundamentalist interpretation that certain spiritual gifts have ceased, a belief that exceeds the BFM 2000 and in some minds contradicts the inerrant Word of God, and so close the door on otherwise qualified Southern Baptist missionaries from serving on the mission field. I have seen IMB trustee leaders force their Fundamentalist Landmark beliefs on an entire board, and thus remove from the possiblity of missionary service any Southern Baptist church member whose baptism did not take place in a Southern Baptist church. I have seen Fundamentalist trustees fire a missionary couple in Africa because they refused to "cease and desist" from cooperating with another conservative, evangelical missionary couple - who happened to be non-Southern Baptist - in planting a church among the bush tribes of Africa. I have personally been witness to Southern Baptist Fundamentalist leaders spreading vicious rumors against people (other than me) who dared speak out to oppose their views. I have seen Southern Baptists threatened, Southern Baptists excoriated, Southern Baptists fired, Southern Baptists mistreated, Southern Baptists lied about, Southern Baptists dismissed - all because they dared to express an opinion different than the Fundamentalist interpretation of sacred Scripture on tertiary matters that have nothing to do with being Christian or even Southern Baptist. The best way to identify these Baptist Fundamentalists is with the label "Baptist Identity" for truly, the Fundamentalists would rather demand people conform to their interpretation of what it means to be Southern Baptist than to cooperate with people who view things differently than they do. In other words, their "Baptist Identity," as they interpret it, precedes any identification with Christ and His commandment to love one another.

That, my friend, is why I speak out. The people in leadership who are hurting Southern Baptists by their demands for conformity must be removed from Convention leadership. Let me say that again: Those who demand that all Southern Baptists conform to their Fundamentalist views of Baptist Identity must be removed from leadership. Why? The Convention is built on cooperation (i.e. "The Cooperative Program), and demands for conformity disqualify any man who is to lead out in cooperation. I will continue to speak out until the sleeping giant we call the Southern Baptist Convention wakes up and realizes that what began as a "Conservative Resurgence" somewhere along the line became a "Fundamentalist Fury." It's time the fires of Fundamentalism's fury be quenched.

If my writing plays any part in quenching those fires, and if in so doing, the Christian Century writes that I "needle" the SBC leaders who exalt Fundamentalism (Baptist Identity), then so be it.

I plead guilty.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

230 comments:

1 – 200 of 230   Newer›   Newest»
Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I still find it hard to believe that SBC missionaries were fired and there was very little outcry.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

Little to none.

That included me back in 2003.

Not anymore.

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Stephen Pruett said...

Excellent post Wade. The difference between your needling and the actions of many of the fundamentalists is that you have been very straightforward with your criticisms and have not spread rumors in secret about someone one day and assured the same person of your support the next. You have not tried to have people fired (other than encouraging your fellow Baptists through their ability to attend the annual meeting and vote to remove current leaders). You have not voted to exclude missionaries who have a private prayer language and at the same time say with a straight face that you didn't want to undermine the leadership of the IMB President who was known to have a private prayer language. You have supported those who were powerless (Dr. Klouda, for example) instead of the powerful, who had been essentially unquestioned for almost 20 years.

As a layman, I can tell you that I have been terribly disappointed in many of our Southern Baptist clergy. Growing up in Southern Baptist churches, some of the men I admire most are Southern Baptist preachers. Unfortunately, those who worked their way into national level SBC leadership positions seem to have little in common with those noble and self-sacrificing pastors I have known.

I simply could not believe that many of our missionaries and Dr. Klouda were treated as they were. If nothing else, simple compassion should have prevented it. If new rules were sorely needed (and I think it has been clearly established that they were not needed) they should have been applied to new employees who knew the conditions of employment. What was done was fundamentally dishonest. We hired people under one set of explicit expectations and promises (the B F & M will never be used as a creed or have to signed as a condition of employment), then all of us Southern Baptists allowed a few leaders to break those promises on our behalf. It is shameful. In 30 years of employment in the secular world, I have never seen an employee treated like that. What does that say about Southern Baptists? It says some of us are incredibly insensitive, bordering on cruel. Worse yet they seem to have convinced themselves that what they have done is not wrong because they are standing for God and those they have mistreated are not (at least in their mind). Sad, Sad, Sad. I hope the tide is turning. I had very little hope before you and many others started blogging. Now there is some.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

It will be interesting to see if Louis will agree with the firing of the missionaries. We shall wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

You 'prick' the consciences of these 'leaders'. You perform a Christian duty and a charity to them by calling them to account, in a Christian manner, for harm that they have done to the Church.

So keep your needle sharp.

Your 'needle' is more powerful than a mighty sword when used to help the injured and thus, the Church. Your courage shames them.

God Bless You, L's Gran

Kuya Kevin said...

Keep it up Wade. I may not agree with everything you've written on this blog, but I think your voice is needed for the health of the SBC.

KuyaKevin.com

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade, I would not use the word needle to describe your effort in the SBC. I would prefer to use the word goad. It's more positive to me :-)

A year ago, I never even knew who Southern Baptists were. I had no knowledge of Patterson, Burleson, Klouda, SBC, IMB ... Only in the past 4 months I have been exposed to this "twisted" mess in the Southern Baptists. But I am learning quickly.

I sincerely hope and pray, that Southern Baptists will use less politics, less Machiavellians tactics, less twisting of the Word, more love, more acceptance, more grace, more humility, more servant nature, more humbleness, more contriteness, more Love of the Word

My personal reading of this is that here people are doing God's work (they are usurping God's role), but they are not doing what God ordained them to do. Please allow me to explain.

I believe the Word of God is alive. It does not need any protection from people. It has hidden, latent power. It's a double edged sword, that always does the Lord's bidding and does not return to Him, till it's done it's purpose.

They why do men twist the Word of God, to coerce others to submission falsely?

This is the crux of the issue.

Eventually, the Word will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Clarification:

If by your use of "moderate" you mean those theologically conservative, Bible believing, otherwise-SBC-supporting Baptists among us who POLITICALLY simply will not force anyone else to believe the Holy Scriptures in one form/fashion (i.e., "fundamentally" as it turns out) because only the Lord Jesus is Eternal Judge, then I agree with your entire posting today. Otherwise, in the SBC and my entire life in it (almost 50 years), I don't know a single THEOLOGICALLY-moderate individual--and am very certain that, if any theologically-liberal people ever affiliated with the SBC, it was 'way too few to turn the whole denomination upside-down on its head as has been done since 1979 (I've never met a liberal Southern Baptist)!

What occurred in the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Baptist General Convention of Texas are recent living-breathing examples on state convention levels of exactly what you've written about in this posting. As a member of the executive board of the MBC at the time, I watched the convention come apart at it seams--or, rather, be driven apart by Fundamentalists who waged a war over nothing other than power. Their fellow theologically-conservative but politically-moderate MBCers WITH MUCH MORE SENSE simply wouldn't stand for it; the result is what exists today in Missouri--but I can say for a fact that Fundamentalists/fundamentalism forced it. The same was true in Texas, where--unlike Missouri--things have mostly simmered down and two state conventions exist, one without much effect at all on the state aside from its support of SBC-level fundamentalism/fundamentalists (SBTC) and one struggling with internal organizational matters and budget shortfalls (BGCT). The Texas convention, during it 100+ years, has split several time before--never for a godly reason; and, during those same years, it's re-united--but, again, not really for godly reasons (e.g., repentance).

Stay at it, Wade. We need to be needled!


David

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

To whatever extent the current "fundamentalists" are exhibiting the same loveless adherence to rules of their own manufacture, as did the Pharisees, then to that same extent, they're also a "brood of vipers", and represent "whitewashed tombs".

Figured it was time somebody said that.

Wanda said...

I am alarmed by this post!!!

Please indulge me as I share some humor that I believe illustrates what is truly going on in the SBC.

There were two small churches, one Baptist and the other Christian, in a rural community and both were struggling financially.

One day the two congregations had a meeting to see whether they could merge into one stronger church.

Suddenly, an older gentleman sprung up out of his seat and yelled:

"I'm a Baptist and I'll always be a Baptist. Ain't nobody gonna make a Christian out of me!"

And with that he stormed out of the meeting.

Isn't that what is truly going on in the SBC today? Weeks ago I began to realize that the takeover wasn't over inerrancy of scripture; it was over power! I believe we have clearly seen that reality, even in recent weeks with the removal of a magazine featuring women pastors. FYI -- my boycott of LifeWay began the day I heard that pronouncement, and I spend A LOT of moolah there!!!

Praise God for the internet and Wade's blog so that the truth can be disseminated. Otherwise, the powers that be in the SBC would keep all of this information under wraps. The SBC is beginning to look like a communistic system, and members need to WAKE UP!!!

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Interesting post. Some will be astounded to know I happen to agree with some of it, posting my own concerns on my blog pertaining to Lifeway's decision.

However, I refuse to condemn the act as cowardly people caving into phantom, unidentifiable conspiratorial pressures to conform to anybody's "fundamentalism."

Why can't it just be that the decision, from our perspective at least, was arguably unsound? Why is it that conspiracy must be served along with every bad decision in the cook's kitchen? Can't we eat potatoes once in a great while without gravy?

By far, however, the most interesting portion of the post is the pattern I perceive in your literary repertoire, Wade. There appears the oddest habit of offering confusing terminology sometimes in the form of convolution, or miscategorization, or plain old creation of a definition of something.

For my part, this stands as one of the many reasons many thinking Southern Baptists hold such profound reservations concerning what you write--hardly, the mere "handful" that you seem to think have reserve.. Allow me to briefly (promise!) show you what I mean.

A mere four words into your post, a good bloodhound would pick up the scent: "The Christian Century, an *evangelical* magazine..." (asterisks mine). Wade, who among evangelicals count The Christian Century (TCC) an "evangelical" voice? Your own Niebuhrean example is not "evangelical" but Neoorthodox.

The TCC failed in its earliest years and was purchased as a mouthpiece of old line Liberalism. Since, it has become the major voice of *mainline* Christianity, against which Carl F.H. Henry drew swords with the establishment of Christianity Today. But on this blog, that is whooshed aside to make TCC an "*evangelical* magazine."

Now, to be fair, some would call my approach piddled. So be it. And, I'd be inclined to agree if there were no pattern to void the piddle out.

Nevertheless, the pattern there is, I assure. The term "needles" is taken in its most provocative sense as "To torment with persistent insult or ridicule."

Granted for argument's sake the dictionary gave that sense (though admittedly, I could not find it in the six or so dictionaries I checked). I simply do not at all see insisting TCC's used "needles" in such a dark sense.

Personally, after reading the story, I think they were employing "needles" in an admirable sense in which they agreed: "To goad, provoke, or tease" (Am. Her. Dict.).

Yet, to use this more neutral nuance would not have possessed the pizazz this post needed to fit the provocative, now would it ;^)

The larger grief is to stuff your cotton in the mouths of others so they choke: "I accept that The Christian Century, my Baptist Identity friends, and a handful of SBC leaders see me that way."

You read you perception right into the script of three other groups--me included--if you still hold I'm one of your self-admittedly unidentifiable "BI guys."

I'm perfectly capable of making up my own mind about the matter, thank you very much. That's the problem: your skewed definitions get pinned on others similar to a party game of pinning the tail on the donkey. Inevitably, somehow the real donkey gets ignored.

There are some more which establish pattern, like convoluting "fundamentalism" with "Baptist Identity", which, by the way, is the first time I've read this particular descriptor from you, Wade. Is this new?.

Alas, however, I promised brevity, at whose threshold I now appear. Have a good morning.

With that, I am...

Peter

Tom Parker said...

Peter- (I am, I am):

Could you please simply for this non-thinker, non-logical person what you just said. You are just a little too verbose and deep for me-wink-wink.

Gary Snowden said...

Wade,

Thanks for continuing to be a voice of reason and balance as you challenge the excesses that have become part and parcel of the SBC in recent years.

The money quote for me in this post was this one: "Frankly, because of the way I have seen some of my fellow Southern Baptists who hold to inerrancy treated in this new millenium by other Southern Baptists who also profess to hold to inerrancy, I now have doubts about the veracity of the claim that the issue in the Southern Baptist Convention was ever a battle for a belief in the inerrant Bible in the first place."

No truer words were ever spoken. The "battle for the Bible" as it was called for the purpose of rallying the troops was always and only a battle for power and control.

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Your definition is precisely mine.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

I'm sure you know that German Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer credits Niebuhr for his return to evangelical orthodoxy. If it comes down to accepting your word (and others) or Bonhoeffer's word regarding the orthodoxy of Niebuhr (with orthodoxy defined in terms of the Person of Christ), then I choose to believe the man who was discipled by Niebuhr, not the man who has read about Niebuhr.

Blessings to you as well,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

By the way Peter, I accept your definition of "needles," without calling into question the veracity of your sources. People can evaluate how Southern Baptists treat those who disagree with them to determine how those Southern Baptists feel about the dissenters. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Enjoying my dessert this morning,

:)

Wade

Joe White... said...

I wonder if perhaps a more accurate title for this blog post would be... "One Who Needles Needs Fundamentalism's Fury".

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I do not need to look up the definition of needles, or "to needle" to know exactly what the author meant. You are a needler Wade. I know this because I am a needler--at least I find great joy in needling you from time to time. That being said, my needle is quite dull. Yours on the other hand is an extremely sharp needle of steel with a velvety fin. Mine are meant to sting like hard drops of rain, yours are meant to kill. If the SBC ever loses her biblical moorings, indeed her sanity, and elects you president, you might want to move the HQ down the road to Needles.


...with thimbles on,

Kevin :)

Joe Blackmon said...

I'll grant that there were probably those in the Conservative Resurgence who were more concerned with power than what they said they were really concerned about and used certain issues to rally the troops, so to speak. However, I bet there are also those who will participate in the upcoming Mainstream Resurgence* who are equally power hungry. I submit that is one reason those of the CBF crowd have not officially broken away from the SBC completely--they are "biding their time" to see if/when they can take back the SBC and get revenge on all those "dang fundementalists". I still have not heard an alternative explanation as to why they continue to hang out, even it is loosely, in the SBC. I know for a fact that if/when the Mainstream Resurgence happens and the SBC reverses and head back toward the left (i.e. the BFM is amended to take out the language that says only men can be pastors and that they are not the head of their home) I'd leave the SBC so quick you'd think I was the Road Runner or Speedy Gonzales.

My point-there are power hungry people on both sides.

*I am in the process of getting a copyright on "Mainstream Resurgence". If there's going to be a controversy and hurt feelings, I'm going to make sure that I'm able to make money off of it. Somebody should have thought about that during the CR.

Tom Parker said...

Joe Blackmon:

We will surely miss you when you choose to leave after the "mainstream resurgence" is successful. Are you really worried?

Anonymous said...

The outcry about the missionaries was not expressed in the SBC because it was supressed by those in power. However those of us who received information from other sources - Associated Baptist Press, Baptists Today, Baptist state papers not under control of or in sympathy with the SBC leadership, the missionaries themselves and people close to them, etc. - knew and did what we could. Of course there was prayer, often for people we knew personally. Funds were set up to help the displaced ones. Those in sympathy with the ones fired helped find new work for them - in some cases the very people they had worked with in the same country. One might wonder what impression of the SBC and Baptists from America in general that last made among those people. I believe some found work with the much maligned CBF; and I fully expect to hear voices saying that's where they belonged, though to my mind it is a much more Christian organization than the present-day SBC.

Yes there was outcry, and more than that, help for those faithful servants who were treated so badly. Many of you did not notice, partly because those who did such a thing tried to keep you from noticing it, and partly because they justified it in they same way they have done so much else, by "waving the Bible".

As for the term inerrant, as far as I can tell, it so often means whatever the person saying it intends it to mean that it seems practically meaningless. The KJV certainly isn't inerrrant and we are unlikely to ever see the original manuscripts unless we get a time machine. If we did some would likely worship them like they used to do with what they thought were saints bones - can anyone say idolatry? We can do fine with what we have. The apostles did in their time when many people couldn't even read.

Wade, keep up your "needling". I just wish you had done it sooner when it might have done more good.

Susie

Anonymous said...

your needle defense is hog-wash

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

"...with the much maligned CBF; and I fully expect to hear voices saying that's where they belonged, though to my mind it is a much more Christian organization than the present-day SBC."

1. then your mind is simply wrong.
2. i'll telly you where they belong...
3. How can they truly be a "Christian" organizations when they support men who deny the diety of Christ and sole power of His blood to save?

The CBF is evil to the core. To that end so are organizations like the BGCT who support them. I was saddened to see that the New Executive Director for the BGCT is going to be speaking at Southwestern's Chapel next week. He might well be a good Chrsitian, but he alligns himself with devils. "depart from me..." comes to mind. Shame on PP for reaching to THAT side of the isle.

Other than that I have no REAL opinion. :)

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

Worried isn't a word I would use. I have come to the realization that my life will certainly go on with or without the SBC. To me, Paige Patterson is just as much a goober as that nutcase from Wake Forest who would permit homosexuals to go to that seminary. It may end up with me electing to cooperate with and support organizations as an individual rather than trying to be part of some collective support.

Anonymous said...

Joe,

One reason the CBF crowd as you call them is staying close is because they love their churches. So many in the churches still want to help the remaining missionaries and believe in their work and for that reason won't fully break away, and the ones inclined toward CBF don't want to cause a rift in the work of their own church.

For many the attitude toward the SBC is like the attitude toward a former spouse, which I hope none of you ever have to experience. That can vary: hate, indifference, being civil because of children or other relationships, being (or becoming again) friends, or even in a very few cases getting back together. As I see it, coming back together for CBF and SBC is impossible as long as attitudes of present SBC leadership exist.

There may be some in CBF who are power hungry, but I haven't met them. The ones I know of just want to do God's work in the world and SBC leadership was going in a different direction. In many ways the CBF is more like the SBC used to be before it was taken over.

Susie

NativeVermonter said...

To me, SBC controversy further emphasizes the beauty of the local church and why our Lord didn't set up a "convention" per se in Scripture. It's hard enough to keep politics out of a local assembly let alone a mammoth juggernaut. Really, liberal or conservative leadership in the SBC is not going to effect our local fellowship one iota, it matters little to us what direction the convention goes. You could shut the doors to the SBC in twenty minutes, along with every state convention and our mission would change not.

The local church would send out missionaries without having to worry about secondary or tertiary issues. The local church would equip their own for positions of leadership. They can partner with whom they wish, when they wish, and for how long they wish.

It seems we spend an inordinate amount of time discussing things that the local church has already solved. That's why you have chosen to worship where you do, because you have presumably studied their beliefs and by your membership you have stated that you want to partner with this congregation. To study with them, serve them and if ever need be, to die with them.

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

I very much enjoyed the dessert, literally! After my morning walk, I just sat to a delicious, low sugar, miniature apple pie and a soothing cup of Kenya AA. Ahhh....

Aside from such luxuries, Wade, your response reveals the pattern precisely about which I spoke--confusing terms and then drawing conclusions.

If your terms are skewed, one need not point out that nothing necessarily follows. However, if your sources upon which you base your persuasive rhetoric are not checked by unsuspecting readers, your skewed conclusions tragically transform to their skewed conclusions without one, tiny blink, I fear.

Specifically, here is what I mean: you seem to equate "evangelical" as employed by Neoorthodoxy with "evangelical" as employed by not only contemporary evangelicals themselves but the class "evangelicals" as employed by religious-sociologists.

Yet, to dub Niebuhr "evangelical" must have its reasons, surely. On the one hand, to remotely suggest Niebuhr was "evangelical" because either he was a part of the *Evangelical* Synod of North America (today the United Church of Christ), or because somehow Bonhoeffer described him as such, is odd, to say the least.

I suggest you take a peek at "Deconstructing Evangelicalism" by D.H. Hart who argues convincingly that, prior to 1950, "Whether a church, minister, or member was liberal or conservative, whether the Bible was inerrant or simply inspired...American Protestants thought of themselves as *evangelical*" (asterisks mine).

That is, mainline Protestants were ALL EVANGELICAL; they shared the label (CAPS for emphasis only). Billy Graham, Carl Henry and some others took the term and began to apply it in a different way. Critics would say, they hijacked the term.

And, I fully subscribe, Wade, to allowing the public to make up their mind about "how Southern Baptists treat those who disagree with them."

As many times as I've dissented from your views here, I do not think I've ever said you acted like a "cult leader" even though you're not or that you are a heretic. All those who are heretics are wrong but not all those who are wrong are heretics.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Wanda ,

May I quote you:
"The SBC is beginning to look like a communistic system, and members need to WAKE UP!!! "

I agree with you but I would replace the word 'communistic' with 'fascist' or 'Nazism' which are both as far to the right as you can get: the extreme right flank of the rightwing.

The term 'communistic' is far to the left and is more associated with an extreme 'liberal' point of view.
'Communism' or 'marxism' is the extreme left flank of the left wing.

Same result: angone in the middle who doesn't fall in line becomes a target of the extremists. And apparently, the fundamentalists in the SBC believe that the ends justify the means. Barbaric.

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

"There appears the oddest habit of offering confusing terminology sometimes in the form of convolution, or miscategorization, or plain old creation of a definition of something"
Peter Lumpkins

WHAT ???????????

In my day, this kind of rhetoric was called 'Peter Palaver'. This term 'Peter palaver' was written about in an American non-fiction book called 'The Peter Principle' which was a best-seller about thirty-five years ago.

The Brits have another name for this kind of verbage: PIFFLE.

Prof. Wimsey Dumbledorff

Wanda said...

L's Gran,

Your comment is well-taken and very much appreciated.

There is great cause to be concerned with the extreme right turn the SBC is now taking.

Unfortunately, Southern Baptists who are not reading this blog are clueless.

Anonymous said...

Joe

"However, I bet there are also those who will participate in the upcoming Mainstream Resurgence* who are equally power hungry"

CR people used back-door, brutal, dishonest methods to gain power. They behaved more like right-wing political 'swift boaters'.

If (great term , by the way) the Mainstream Resurgence is occuring, it will be open, and involve Christian ethics and honorable tactics that would give glory to the name of Christ.

If you can't see the difference, brush off some of your labels and take another look.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Ted Haggard called himself an evangelical, too. :o)

Lydia

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wanda,

You seem confident you've found the motif of the painful struggle of SBs beginning in the last quarter of the 20th Century: "Weeks ago I began to realize that the takeover wasn't over inerrancy of scripture; it was over power!"

David writes of two state conventions, one of which is MO: "I watched the convention come apart at it seams--or, rather, be driven apart by Fundamentalists who *waged a war over nothing other than power*. Their fellow theologically-conservative but politically-moderate MBCers WITH MUCH MORE SENSE simply wouldn't stand for it..." (asterisks mine).

Gary writes of Wade's mysterious questioning of the reason for the CR: "No truer words were ever spoken." (I hope we're not supposed to take him literally ;^)

Here is the humorous paradox: at precisely the same time the leaders of the old Moderate resistance in the SBC are publicly confessing that the CR was driven mainly by theology--definitively NOT a quest for power--the conventional wisdom here is that it WAS a quest for power.

To the contrary, Dr. Cecil Sherman, the quintessential embodiment of the Moderate forces, explicitly writes in his memoirs that the issue was fundamentally theological in nature. I suggest those who want to serve the old hash read their own recipes.

Grace, ever.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Prof. Wimsey,

Please. You're embarrassing me. I can stand only so many compliments in one day.

With that, I am...

Peter

Marcus Brody said...

Peter,

On your own blog, you said something to the effect of, "I never claimed to be humble". You went on to say something like, "I am not above or beyond arrogance".

I'd have to say that you do speak truth with you say those things. Yet, why do you have to continually prove them to be true over and over?

With that, I am...

really, really tired of reading your boorish comments

Joe Blackmon said...

Anon

"If (great term , by the way) the Mainstream Resurgence is occuring, it will be open, and involve Christian ethics and honorable tactics that would give glory to the name of Christ."

Thanks for the compliment. I made it up myself.

Whatever it involves (and I'm pretty sure it will involve none of that), I imagine the Mainstream Resurgence will result in a denomination that looks little different than the PC-USA except for baptism and eschatology.

Wanda said...

Peter,

I hope we can agree to disagree on this blog; however, if I disagree with those who rule and reign in the SBC I will be swiftly and severely chastized, possibly even excommunicated!

The CR may have been theological in nature initially, but all of the liberals and moderates have left the SBC. Now all that's left are conservatives and ultra-conservatives.

Time has a way of telling the truth, and I am correct in my position about a power grab. Sorry you disagree with me.

Nothing will ever change my mind.

With that I am ...

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Wade:

I have never considered The Christian Century an evangelical magazine.

It was originally founded by the Diciples of Christ as the The Christian Oracle, and later purchased by a fellow named Morrison, who changed it's name around the early 1900s. That magazine has been known for championing Higher Criticism and the Social Gospel. Its concerns and emphasis have not been evangelical.

Carl Henry and others started Christianity Today to provide an evanglical counterbalance to The Christian Century.

Information about the Christian Century is available on line in several places.

But in fairness to you, that is not the main point of your post. I just think that it would be good for us all to keep in mind where The Christian Century fits in the world of publications.

You are right about the CR. The CR ended.

Joe, I do not worry about the moderates "taking over" the SBC. Clocks don't go backwards. They only move forwards. I don't think that the same issues and arguments that moved people in a neoorthodox direction in the early part of the 20th century will have a come back and move millions of Christians again. But new issues will emerge, and those will have to be wrestled with. Each generation must work to preserve Christian essentials.

The fact that old moderates in the CBF can't really make the break emotionally or programatically with the SBC is not reflective of a grand strategy to take over the SBC. It's more like of a group of people who have ridden a bus into the desert in view of the town, but can't decide whether to move forward, or go back to the town. They will simply sit in the desert until the end gazing at the past and the future, having an effect on neither. Some will wonder back into town. Some will move forward. But it will not be the en masse return that concerns you.

The point of Wade's post, aside from the mis-labeling of the Christian Century Magazine is two fold, as I see it.

First, it's an affirmation of the CR.

I think that we all would get right back at the CR if we felt there were any threat to the Christian essentials. I believe Wade when he says this. There is not an obvious threat now, so we are debating other things.

Second, it's Wade's feeling that while the CR was good (officially ended in the early 90s) what has come after has some unhealthy trends and issues.

That is part of being a denomination, constantly defining what is important and what should be emphasized.

We all have opinions about a bunch of issues. We will have to work them out in communion with one another. Not all of them are going to be settled our way.

So, that's how I see things.

As to the missionary firing issue, I really don't have any background on that. Was Dr. Rankin in charge when that happened? The CR was responsible for Dr. Rankin being installed at the IMB, and he's been the only President since the CR.

So, I would need to know who was fired and why to make any judgment. I see that Wade's post contains a link to that. If I get some time today, I'll check that out. Of course, you guys can give me your history on that, too, if I get to read this blog again today.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Susie:

You make an excellent point. Many people do remain in the SBC because they love their local church. I actually think that is a very wholesome motivation.

Louis

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Dr. Brody,

Thank you. I am *humbled* you trekked over to my site. And, the reason I want to "prove over and over again" is simply to be consistent, a virtue about which this bloghost perpetually speaks admiration (I'm secretly wishing for his approval, but please don't tell him).

As for your being "really, really tired of reading [my] boorish comments," I have a sure fire way to give you a bit of boost. Ready?

Here it is: Do not read my posts for at least the rest of the day. As difficult as it is, as tempted as you may become, chant over and over:

I REFUSE TO READ PETER'S BOORISH COMMENTS...I REFUSE TO READ PETER'S BOORISH COMMENTS...I REFUSE TO READ PETER'S BOORISH COMMENTS...

If you do so, Dr. Brody, you'll feel better by morning, I'm confident. Though be warned: This is only a temporary fix! People have been known to go comatose attempting to phase out of "[my] boorish comments."

I certainly hope your afternoon is a strengthened one.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Also, let me compliment you on the reference to the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy.

I mentioned that a couple of weeks ago on this blog to someone who did not know what inerrancy meant.

That statement is excellent, and I hope that the SBC's insitutions will have leaders and professors who are in agreement with that statement or others like it.

I would encourage all of us who frenquent your site to read that statement carefully and to compare that with the writings of Baptists who hold to a much lower view of scripture. That will help people understand the CR more than anything.

Take care.

Louis

Wanda said...

Peter,

Please get over yourself! I'm getting so bored with your egocentric comments.

Let's stay on topic!!!

Anonymous said...

The missionaries were asked to sign a statment - the 2000 BF&M -when they had never been asked such before. As I understand it, and someone who knows can correct me if I'm wrong about it, in pre- BF&M 2000 times prospective missionaries were given the BF&M statement of that time and were asked to write a statement of their beliefs if they disagreed, or possibly were just uncomfortable with any part of it. Then the decision was made whether they could be appointed.

There were things in the 2000 BF&M that many would not sign. I remember a friend, leader in a state convention who will be unnamed, saying he would sign all the pages of the Bible but would not sign the man-made (ok there were women on the committee that wrote it, but I expect they were dictated to by men) statement.

As I remember, the missionaries were first told they would not have to sign it, and then pressure was put on Dr. Rankin to make them sign it or be fired. So much for leadership keeping their word.

Susie

Tom Parker said...

Louis and Joe Blackmon:

What is your take on the missonaries that were fired?

Tom Parker said...

Mr. I am, I am, I am, I am:

Peter,

Wanda said:
"Please get over yourself! I'm getting so bored with your egocentric comments."

Let's stay on topic!!!

We all know that you think everything is about you, but it is not.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wanda,

No fears from "excommunicating" from me, I assure.

You also write: "...I am correct in my position about a power grab. Sorry you disagree with me. Nothing will ever change my mind."

That's an interesting position, my sister. I offered the testimony of one of the chief--if not THE chief--architects of the Moderate Resistance--Cecil Sherman who writes openly about the theological nature of the struggle and not about the "power" grab.

Yet Sherman is simply washed aside as if he is just another a guy on the street with one of many "opinions" and you confidently affirm against it "I am correct in my position about a power grab."

Even worse, is this cherry on top: "Nothing will ever change my mind."

Well, there you have it. In the face of evidence to the contrary, sober, open-minded thinking at its finest.

I do have a question, if you don't mind. In your story above, you related an elderly man who concluded, in the face of change "I'm a Baptist and I'll always be a Baptist. Ain't nobody gonna make a Christian out of me!"

My question is, my sister Wanda, how is the elderly man's meaning different from your own when you say "I am correct in my position about a power grab...Nothing will ever change my mind"?

Grace for a rainy day. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Peter, I am going to respond.

Just because you have never seen or been through the fire of the fundy's does not mean it is not happening. As one who has been an insider in the capacity of personal security and driver as well as other things, I have watched many of these things first hand. It is truly of the devil. These men and their agenda intentionally drove my family (wife and children) into homelessness and unemployment. My sin, only being 99% with them. I was told it was 100% or nothing. And I QUOTE " Don't you realize that we (sbc fundy's) own thousands of properties around the world? With your background and education you can literally choose where you want to serve but you have got to get on board 100%". I declined and was attacked full bore.
There are very few rumors that are not true. there are tens of thousands, that is TENS OF THOUSANDS who have been attacked and ruined. Just get off the high horse and loose the "know it all arrogance" and then start really seeking the truth. JUST THINK IF ONLY 10% OF WHAT YOU HEAR IS TRUE, THEN THERE IS TRULY RAMPART INTENTIONAL SIN IN THE CAMP Better yet, go public with what you find out, and THEY will come knocking.

with that....I AM




AN OVERCOMER OF THEIR CONSPIRACY ON MY FEET AND PREACHING JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wanda,

I see Dr. Brody's fine, exemplar piece "on topic" when he said " [I'm] really, really tired of reading [Peter's] boorish comments" has inspired you. You write: "I'm getting so bored with your egocentric comments. Let's stay on topic!!!"

If, Wanda, you can show, from the comments I've made here, that I have not addressed something in Wade's post, please do so. If you cannot, I suggest it honors our Lord more if reading someone's personal interior life be left to the Only One Who can.

Grace to you, my sister. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:

See my earlier post.

Since then I went and read the Christianity Today article from 2003 about 13 missionaries who were fired for refusing to affirm the denomination's statement of faith.

I believe that denominational employees should affirm the statement of faith adopted by the denomination, and that if they do not, they should not work for the denomination.

I don't think that is a difficult concept to understand. I think that most denominations require that of their missionaries. Even if they do not, I am glad that the SBC does.

The statement of faith was debated publicly, voted on (I think twice, or is that just for constitutional changes?) and approved by the messengers to the SBC.

Louis

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

If they were fired because they would not sign the BFM 2000 I have no problem with that at all.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Do you consider societal based mission organizations like New Tribes,TEAM ,Crossworld,GEM, GMU,Worlteam,Pioneers; to be Fundamentalist?

Rob Masters

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Anon,

If you will email me with your identity, I'd be glad to respond. I'm not interested in responding to an apparently angry anon. Sorry.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade,

You wrote, "I have seen an excellent Hebrew professor fired from teaching Hebrew at Southwestern Theological Seminary (Sheri Klouda), FORCED TO SELL HER OWN BLOOD to meet expenses, all because of a Fundamentalist interpretation that a woman should not teach men"

COMMENT: That part about 'forced to sell her own blood to meet expenses' is something I had not known.

Sheri Klouda WAS sacrificed on the altar of Fundamentalism: She was forced to part with her BLOOD because of what was done to her.

Her story needs telling. Is anyone writing about it? Has she ever considered writing her own story for publication? Are you writing about it in your coming book? I hope so.

Wade, when the story of Sheri Klouda gets out into mainstream America, a lot of good people will see what fundamentalism is REALLY all about.

You will need a needle in one hand; and a mighty pen in the other. :)

Wanda said...

My Dear Brother Peter,

All I have to do is look at how my brother Wade and sister Cindy (Kunsman) and Dr. Klouda have been treated by those who call the shots in the SBC. That's all the evidence I need to conclude that we are witnessing a power grab.

How can you possibly disagree? Oh yes, those who are entrenched in the SBC couldn't possibly see the truth. That must be why you have blinders on.

Have a blessed day.

With that, I am . . .

Wanda

Tom Parker said...

Louis:

You and Joe Blackmon are two hard hearted men. Your worlds are black and white and it appears people really do not matter much to either of you. Sadly that is the kind that currently runs the SBC. PP is proud of both of you. You carry his water very well. He has taught you well. I am looking for a change in the SBC. It must change.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

Every year I have to sign a document stating that I will comply with certain requirements my employer makes on me because of my profession. If I didn't/wouldn't/couldn't sign it, they would fire me. Simple. Straight forward. N'est pas?

That isn't hard hearted. It's a career decision on my part. If there was ever anything in that document that I thought was wrong and I couldn't sign it for that reason I wouldn't have to get fired. I'd quit. My integrity can't be bought.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:

Sorry you feel that way about me.

Would rather that we get along.

Maybe we'll find something to agree on some day.

Louis

peter lumpkins said...

Wanda,

My final post to you--at least on this (even if you didn't answer my question about the difference between you and the old man). Thus, you get the last word.

I understood we were referring to the CR. How the three you now mention have potatoes in that sack I cannot tell. I am thoroughly lost.

Of course, my wife tells me this often. I really need to start listening to her ;^)

Grace, my sister. With that, I am...

Peter

NativeVermonter said...

Joe, Louis,

Your comments are grace filled and I've enjoyed reading them. I see only one person on the past few threads who has shown any hardness of heart. And it is so obvious a name is not even needed.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Crowder:

My parents, in-laws, wife and children, and I are BGCT--and we aren't "devils".

Would you care either to clarify your statement or to apologize for it, brother? Feel free to do so via the contact info below if you like.


David Troublefield
Minister of Education
Lamar Baptist Church
Wichita Falls, TX
940-723-4371
david@lbcwf.org

Anonymous said...

Joe,

Your logic is flawed.

The SBC Baptist Faith and Message is a document written by men, not by God. God did not ask those missionaries to sign this man-made document. Men did.

On the OTHER hand, it WAS God who called those missionaries to their work. He 'hired' them, and gave them an offer that they could not refuse.

So can the little flunkies of you-know-who , fire the missionaries who were hired by the Big Boss?

I would call that undermining God's Authority big time. Think about it.

LOGICAL

Anonymous said...

Joe,

Your logic is flawed.

The SBC Baptist Faith and Message is a document written by men, not by God. God did not ask those missionaries to sign this man-made document. Men did.

On the OTHER hand, it WAS God who called those missionaries to their work. He 'hired' them, and gave them an offer that they could not refuse.

So can the little flunkies of you-know-who , fire the missionaries who were hired by the Big Boss?

I would call that undermining God's Authority big time. Think about it.

LOGICAL

Tom Parker said...

nativevermonter:

Would you fire a missionary because they would not sign a document? If you would, maybe your heart is hard also.

NativeVermonter said...

Mr. Parker,

I would not have to. They would be going out under the umbrella of our local church and not the SBC. They would be constantly lifted in prayer and would indeed be supported by the Saints.

Although to answer the question, unless it violated a fundamental, essential tenant of the Faith then they would be free to sign or not to sign.

Tom Parker said...

nativevermonter:

You did not answer my question. Real people got fired. Several of these people had been missionaries for years. If you had been in charge would you have fired them had they not signed the document?

Lin said...

Does anyone know if the signing of the BF&M was grandfathered in or were long term missionaries required to sign it, too, or be fired?

Also, if the missionaries local SBC church affirmed them, they why would the IMB have power to override that affirmation?

NativeVermonter said...

If I provided a document to a servant on the mission field and it was a simple statement of Faith and they refused to sign, then they're outta there! If the document went beyond that then they could either sign or not sign, it would be up to them. Not sure I can break it down any clearer.

Mr. Parker, I think the Lord used you to teach me patience today :)

Robert I Masters said...

Logical,
Did you say your name was Jim Jones!


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Tom Parker said...

Lin:

They were all required to sign it or be fired. I have issues with Jerry Rankin over his role in all of this.

Wanda said...

With regard to the 2000 BF&M, it seems obvious to me that the grace that Jesus Christ provides and our acceptance of that grace is not enough for the power brokers in the SBC. It's grace plus . . . something else.

That is not Christianity!

Tami Martin said...

Whoever can answer this, please do:

It was my understanding during the time of the firing of the missionaries for not signing the 2000 BF&M was that these were missionaries who were already serving in their various capacities and had never been asked to sign this document (which is apparently subject to change) before.

It's one thing for me to go into a job understanding that I have to sign on the dotted line yearly to keep my job. But it's another thing to be hired at one point in time and then some time later have this document given to me to sign in order to keep my job.

Am I getting this wrong? Did those missionaries who refused to sign and got fired - had they already signed a version of the BF&M, just not the 2000 revision?

Anonymous said...

Robby Martin,

Guys don't go into God's house and fire His employees. He hired 'em. They serve HIM, not those idiots. They answer to HIM, not those turkeys.

People start messin with the Big Boss, there's gonna to be trouble.

Tony S. in Jersey

Lin said...

"It was my understanding during the time of the firing of the missionaries for not signing the 2000 BF&M was that these were missionaries who were already serving in their various capacities and had never been asked to sign this document (which is apparently subject to change) before."


But now, even worse, they are being weeded out for narrower doctrines that are not in the BF&M. So, it is a back door tactic perhaps because they think they could not get it added to the BF&M.

Rick said...

I was there when we were forced to sign the BF&M 2K. I resented being forced to sign it or resign or be fired. I had already signed the 63 version and wrote out a statement of faith in order to be appointed. To sign a new one was strange and quite frankly, a little offensive.

My regional leader resigned his position as RL rather than sign it when they were requested to as a body of leaders. He said by doing so, it was setting up missionaries to HAVE to sign it. He was right. He signed it as a regular missionary, as did I. I figured I had already sacrificed so much to be on the field that a personal conviction was small beans in comparison to having the opportunity to serve.

I also worked on the same team as the missionaries who were fired for working with the non-SBC missionary group. When we first started working with them, they were reluctant to work with us because they had been "burned" by past SBC missionaries. They gave in and worked with us, with promises that we would share the work and the results. Then this nonsense. I can't blame them for ever working with another SBC EVER! They were (are) with Christian & Missionary Alliance. CMA missionaries are some of the best, most dedicated, conservative missionaries on any field. And we couldnt' work with them, why? If I had still been on that team, they would have had to fire me, too. Of all the things I had to deal with on the mission field, that one will go down in my book as the most asinine breech of Christian brotherhood and cooperation. Frankly, it was embarrassing and made us all look like idiots.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Mr. Troublefield,

I am sorry if my broadsweeping brush got paint on you and your family. Maybe you are not devils. I do not know you. But I know what the CBF stands for. And it is anyhting but Christian. I tend to shoot birds of feather when they flock together. Maybe you and your family need to find a different church. I will admit that some BGCT churches are likly OK and are in it for the greater glory of God. But then I must say shame on them for not realizing that their monies are going to support causes against the Word of God. What a shame.

Joe Blackmon said...

Rick,
"...personal conviction was small beans in comparison to having the opportunity to serve."

Ok, I'm totally scratching my head over that one.

Rick said...

Joe,

Maybe that wasn't the best way to express that. What I meant to say was that compared to everything that I had already sacrificed to be a missionary, a personal conviction of the signing of a "creed" as it was, was small beans.

In other words, being a missionary meant more to me than the desire to not sign a creed.

Is that better?

Bob Cleveland said...

Tony S,

I agree with your observation, and would add that the current controversies, and in fact, the situations in the SBC, about which Rev. Burleson blogs, may well be trouble you mentioned.

Gary Snowden said...

In response to Tami's question above, yes it is true that missionaries that were already serving under the BF&M 1963 version were asked to sign the BF&M 2000 version or face being fired. We were urged to do so, saying the changes that had been introduced were minor and insignificant and we just needed to get on board and not make waves.

Many of us chose to resign rather than sign what we took to be a credal document rather than a statement of faith. I considered several of the changes that were introduced to be matters of conscience and interpretation upon which Southern Baptists had always granted liberty to dissent or hold alternative interpretations without breaking fellowship with one another. Those days and that mindset are clearly gone.

Much has been made of the 13 missionaries who were fired in one day--those who hung on to the end and refused to sign or to resign. Not as much attention has been made to the dozens who opted to resign rather than sign. Thankfully, groups like the BGCT whom Crowder is in blind hatred labels "devils" exercised some Christian love and grace and provided financial support for many of us who found ourselves separated from the missions organization that we had felt called to serve the Lord through and anticipated doing so until retirement.

I think that denominational history will one day judge this event as one of the darkest in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Rick Boyne said...

Gary Snowden wrote:
I think that denominational history will one day judge this event as one of the darkest in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Me, too.

Dee said...

Wade, Louis, Wanda, Cindy,et al

I have been a Christian for 37 years. I have been blessed to be at some of the great churches in America- Park Street Church, Bent Tree Bible (Pete Briscoe), etc. I have always joined churches based on their statement of faith and how those statements line up with the great creeds of our faith(Apostles for one).

Pete taught me an incredibly important lesson about "A" issues and "B" issues. In these other churches we never had such shenanigans as i have seen in my last seven years as a Southern Baptist. These churches had incredible ministries.

I helped teach an adult Sunday school class for many years at Pete's church. All of these issues came up for discussion: age of the earth, women's roles, eschatolgy, etc. Because we were well taught on the differences between such issues, we had wonderful fun discussions and enjoyed learning from one another. I saw humility at its best and a deep conviction that there was room to disagree and go on.For example, I did teach adults. However, the majority classes did not have a woman teach. People had the freedom to come to a class with a woman or not come.

In my current SBC church, I have seen such ugliness. A scientist was thrown out of a creation class because he had the audacity to question the teacher about his teachings regarding science.This man loves the Lord, believes that God created the heavens and the earth and man and species specifically. But, that was not enough. He was dangerous to an illequiped teacher who knew precious little about science yet purported to be an expert in this field.

I have seen the deacons vote against women collecting the offering even though they have young boys assist.

And then, the debate happened. You see, we dared to show a debate series between Ken Ham and Hugh Ross in our class. I believe that we should understand all sides of an issue. Our church, however, only teaches the kids young earth and then wonders why kids who go into science fall away from the faith. Our church will not even let them know there is another option that 95% of Chirstian scientist and over 50% of evangelical believe: old earth creationism.

A local Young Earth group invaded our classroom and were rude and ugly, interrupting with vehement accusation that anyone who believes in an old earth is denying the "doctrine of the atonement." You can see this unBiblical statement for your
self on the AIG web site.
I was broadsided.I contacted theologians across the country, including Timothy George, all of whom said that there is room for both opinions. Even Wayne Grudem says the same.

So, this is only one story amongst many. We have dealt with Al Mohler's pushing of young marriages, our church overriding parental objections when they encourage young college kids to get married.

I am leaving the SBC and joining a Biblically based evangelical fellowship and you can bet it won't be the SBC. The SBC has elevated "B" issues to "A" issues. Is the age of the earth really on par with the Virgin birth? Yikes!

Last week I talked with an executive Lifeway. He asked me if I believed that the issue of women pastors was a "B" issue and was suprised when I told him yes.
Finally, I told the Lifeway guy that if they had to remove the black gospel magazine, they would need to remove this months copy of Christianity Today. In it, Ann Graham Lotz states that she thinks women can be ordained. But, maybe they don't want to mess with Billy's daughter. Hypocrisy is alive and well.I guess the black female pastors didn't have the same clout.

So, on that note, I am going to write a letter to the religion editor of our local newspaper about PP.He will be at SEBTS next week to have a building dedicated in his name!Egads! If he is proud of what he has said and done then he should be proud to have these statements carried by the press.

Finally ,last evening a member of my Sunday school class came to visit me. She is upset I am leaving and is angry that I have informed members of the class (one on one, in private) the reasons for my departure. She is angry that I have passed out literature that spells out the current situation of the SBC. She said that "she didn't want to know about it because it is negative." Perhpas, there are many like her in the SBC. So, PP may last far longer than I would hope.

In His grip
Dee

Anonymous said...

Hello Dee,

I was reading about your experiences with the 'young Earth', 'old Earth' controversy.

I was for many years a science teacher in the public school system of our city. There was another teacher with three sons, a Southern Baptist, two of her sons at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and one son at a public high school. She came to me because her youngest was having difficulty communicating with his teacher concerning the controversy: the boy advocating for 'young' Earth and the teacher uncomfortable with the theory.

I did some research and I found the works of Gerald Schroeder, who has tried to reconcile the two theories in his books. I, who do not hold with 'young Earth', was able to see the reconciliation that Schroeder gave and I could understand it. I printed out some of Schroeder's articles, high-lighted the salient points of reconciliation, and gave them to my friend. She later told me that the teacher was impressed with her son's new 'research'.

I just wanted to pass on the success of my use of Gerald Schroeder's work in helping a young man caught in the middle of the controversy. :)

L's Gran

kehrsam said...

Crowder asked: How can they truly be a "Christian" organizations when they support men who deny the deity of Christ and sole power of His blood to save?

Because we are not saved through correct dogma: 8"Also I say unto you, whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God." I look forward to meeting you in Heaven.

Kurt

Chris said...

Louis and Joe,

I almost hate to go back to this, as conversatin seems to be drifting away from this topic, but I can't help myself.

It seems to me (and I could be wrong) that your positions on firing missionaries for not signing the BFM 2000 are the product of confusion over the exact nature of a statement of faith.

It is easiest to see in comparison to a creed. A creed is a document written to determine what will be accepted as orthodox doctrine for the entirety of the group it represents. A Statement of Faith, on the other hand, can only be said to be representative of those who have drawn up such a statement. That means that those who wrote the BFM 2000 are claiming responsibility for those beliefs. That means that those who voted for the BFM 2000 are claiming responsibility for those beliefs. But a Statment of Faith can NEVER be agreed to for someone by someone else. A creed can.

Therefore, if not every Southern Baptist signed that document then that statement cannot be said to represent Southern Baptists (however, if it were a creed it could). It can be said to represent those Southern Baptists who signed and affirmed it by vote or voice, but no further than that.

Furthermore, a Statement of Faith such as the BFM 2000 is meant to represent what certain people believe at a certain time. It is different from a creed in that five seconds after it is affirmed, that person has every right to withdraw their support of that document. It may be that an act of God would be required for someone to do so, but if such an act occurred, a statement of faith can, by definintion, be so quickly discarded. Creeds, however, are much more binding.

So in the cases of these missionaries, they were not there to affirm by vote or voice. Nor were they there to write the document. Yet they were *required* to affirm the document (which cannot be said to represent Southern Baptists) if they wanted to continue in the work God called them to through the SBC. There is nothing about a statment of faith that can allow it to be used in such a manner. Creeds are used as such. Baptists have historically been anti-creedal, but you don't here the Baptist Identity crowd (aka Peter) talking about that very much.

Anonymous said...

"I am leaving the SBC and joining a Biblically based evangelical fellowship and you can bet it won't be the SBC. The SBC has elevated "B" issues to "A" issues. "

Dee, Your comment sounds like my story. This is simply not the SBC I grew up in where the essentials were the focus. There was much charity on the B issues. Besides affirming the essentials, there was a strong belief in the Holy Priesthood. We simply did not have these little popes. But, back then it was not a celebrity status to be an SBC pastor with a six figure income and desire to grow a mega. Ministry was thankless, not a career move with a ladder to climb.

The biggest problem I see is that we have taught a whole generation to follow men. I am of Al Mohler, I am of Paige Patterson. I am of John Piper, I am of Mark Driscoll.

Jesus Christ has been lessened in many ways and has gotten second billing.


"She said that "she didn't want to know about it because it is negative." Perhpas, there are many like her in the SBC."

And this is another tactic that has worked well. The "anything negative said about leaders is wrong" school of thinking. It is how Jim Jones got his people to drink kool aid. And this thinking by the sheep comes directly from the Patriarchal and hierarchal teachings coming out of the seminaries. They really do believe in 'offices'. I am starting to think they secretly believe in Apostalic succession.

It is all quite bizarre. It only took one generation to get the most independent minded people in the world to become lemmings who follow mere men. It is an ego trip that has to stop.

Lydia

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

You wrote:

"Jesus Christ has been lessened in many ways and has gotten second billing."

Wow. Good to know someone else sees it.

The following of leaders in a Church only makes sense if they are pointing always to Christ, speaking of His words and His actions, and His commandments to care for the less fortunate.

Christ always pointed to the Father. No confusion.

Some of the CR stuff is looking pretty wierd as it is. Particularly the emphasis on debasing women's dignity in the Church. Sounds more than a little sick and, as we saw in Wade's last post, dangerous.

The Church really needs refocusing to become more
Christo-centric. L's Gran

debbiekaufman said...

I tend to shoot birds of feather when they flock together.

I hope that's not bragging Kevin.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Chris,

You write: "Baptists have historically been anti-creedal, but you don't here the Baptist Identity crowd (aka Peter) talking about that very much."

I must beg pardon of you, if I may. You either have just A) intentionally lied about my position, B) mistakenly rehashed ignorance about my position, or C) you speak something about my position I have yet to discover.

A) is out for I have no reason to believe you'd outright lie. B) is possible since there is alot of prejudicial gobbledygook toward BI on this site (esp. when no one can actually identify who precisely embraces it or what it even is) C) is also possible because I discover new things about me all the time.

In light of my Separate Baptist sympathies, I'd have to say B).

Therefore, I'd advise to ask before you presume about another's theological sympathies--especially when those assumptions are dead wrong.

With that, I am...

Peter

Corrie said...

I am reminded of Acts 4 where it talks about the Jews trying to keep the Apostles from preaching in Christ's name and they were scattered and EVERYWHERE people heard the Gospel.

I am thinking of the missionaries that were fired. I don't know anything about that but I would like to find out more. I am thinking about Cindy Kunsmann and how she was muzzled for merely laying out the beliefs of various high level teachers. I am thinking about Dr. Klouda and how she was unethically and immorally fired without batting an eye. The covering up for pedophiles and predators in our Churches (don't get me started!).

It seems that the men who are wielding the power and who have their fists tightly grasped for dear life around the rope of power are having the opposite effect of what they really want to accomplish. It is back-firing BIG time and you would think someone would get smart and try another tactic?

They want to silence people (especially women, women who aren't even elders or teaching pastors and who don't even want to be elders or TPs) but, in reality, people EVERYWHERE are hearing about this Gentile-like abuse and use of power.

I hope they keep it up because it will be good for the Kingdom just as it was good for the Kingdom in Acts 4.

They are the cause of their own problems and I do feel a bit sorry for them.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Crowder:

I've read many of your previous comments posted at this website. As I believe your posting immediately above is as near to an apology as your walk with our Lord Jesus Christ will permit you to offer right now, I'll take your statements as one and pray harder for your growth in spirit and intellect (so that you won't keep on typing stupid and divisive words).

Come to Texas. See for yourself.

Anonymous said...

David Troublefield
Texas

Thy Peace said...

Corrie: You are absolutely correct. Christianity always flourished and the Word of God always spread, when ever there was oppression and suppression. The more they oppressed, the more the Word spread.

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

What did you say in your most previous post? I just never do understand what you say. I'm really not sure I have the "high dollar logic" that you say I do cause I just can't figure out what you are saying by applying logic.

Thy Peace said...

Lydia: Your last comments sum up what's happening with Baptist Identity very neatly. If I can see this, being a new Christian, and someone exposed to the "mess" of Baptist Identity very recently ... I am puzzled, why the rest can not see it?

Jeff said...

Peter Lumpkins said:

"I'm perfectly capable of making up my own mind about the matter, thank you very much. That's the problem: your skewed definitions get pinned on others similar to a party game of pinning the tail on the donkey. Inevitably, somehow the real donkey gets ignored."

I seems to me that the donkey has not been ignored, but exposed, and that is why Wade's blogging is viewed as a needle-ous thorn in the sides of some....

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dee,

I feel compelled to tell you your problem. :) You seek a church which conforms to The Apostle's Creed. That is the wrong way of doing it. You need to find a church which lines up with Scripture and then understand the Apostle's Creed in light of Scripture. Not the other way around. For even the early church and fathers had different versions of the creed.

As to creationism and the Young Earth Fact of Scripture: I consider its informed denial to be a matter of first tier doctrine. I consider its uninformed denial to be a matter of second tier doctrine and a matter of sanctification. (One could loosely apply James 4:17 to my theological position.) For, a truly informed denial of sin and death before the fall is to deny the very need and purpose of the atonement. This is not just my opinion; this is a purely logical rendering of the text.

Last fall I taught the ETB series SS class in my home church and was shocked and surprised at the folks who were willing to consider a theory contrary to Scripture. But I realized that they were simply unaware of the doctrinal implications of their position. I gave considerable grace and liberty to the class discussion simply posing questions to the debate to help the class "see creation through biblical glasses" as Ken Ham puts it. :)

No one, not even Al Mohler desires that folks instantly conform to his beliefs, but rather that they make informed decision though Scripture alone.

kevin

Tom Parker said...

Kevin:

Kevin, Kevin.

Chris said...

Peter,

I'm sorry. I was carrying over a joke from a previous thread in which you were deemed the only identifiable BI guy. I don't know you well enough to say truthfully one way or the other. I should have remembered that joking doesn't translate well over the internet. My sincere apologies if I have offended you in any way.

Christa Brown said...

Thy Peace: I suspect it is precisely because you ARE "new" that you may see things more clearly than many others who have long been a part of the "mess" of Baptist identity. Sometimes an outsider (or near-outsider) can see things more clearly than an insider.

In line with Lydia's comments, Lin once said something similar on another blog: "I tremble for these earthly priests who call themselves pastors. It has become about money, power, celebrity and numbers. Christ is just an accessory they market to obtain those things."

[Hope you don't mind my quoting you, Lin.]

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Kevin:

Kevin, Kevin."

Tom Parker, that had to be the nicest thing you have ever said to me. You made my day. When we get to heaven, I just might consider letting you have the bottom bunk.

;)

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Don't worry about Peter. He's trying to put you on the defensive. We all know by now that you are not one to bully anyone. Relax and jump into the discussions. I can tell you that no matter what you say, someone somewhere will probably be offended. Be yourself. You're one of the 'good guys' AND we know it. :)

OLD TIMER

debbiekaufman said...

Peter: Who are you trying to fool?

Chris said...

Old Timer,

I appreciate your support. Yet be he 'verbose' or otherwise Peter still deserves to be treated with respect (do unto others, and all that). If what I say offends someone unnecessarily, then I will have no problem with issuing an apology.

I have no problem with being offensive if necessary, but if it is unnecessary, then perhaps holding the tongue would be better.

Thanks though. And I don't think you have to worry about my continued participation. I'm one of those young brats who know they're right and so are going to make themselves heard. Ah, youthful zeal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

May I quote you: "Baptists have historically been anti-creedal. . . "

You have to admit, the Baptist Faith and Message of 2000 is far worse than any creed. Look at the harm it has done to the church.

OLD TIMER

Dee said...

Kevin

My response is "YAWN".I have heard your arguments made over and over again by the few who support your point of view. How little you understand me. Despite my gender, I am quite capable of understanding Scriptural interpretation, have studied intensively and I believe that you are quite mistaken. It is the insistence of folks like you that is contribbuting to the hemorrhage in the SBC. Baptisms are down 55%.

Did you know that Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, James Dobson, CS Lewis, Lee Strobel, and Francis Schaeffer are all old earth in their beliefs? Well, I would imagine you might be like one of those folks in my soon to be former church who, upon learning of Billy Graham's belief said, "I never fully trusted Billy Graham."

John Lennox, the famous mathematician and debater of militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins told me that this insistence of the YE agitators is laughable and is hurting the cause for Christ. Timothy George believes that it is a viable option.But I know exactly what you will say. You don't care about what these folks think because you know that you and Ken Ham are right and the rest of us are absolutely wrong because you know that you are the only ones who know how to interpret Scripture properly.

I actually am comfortable with your beliefs. However, deep down inside you are threatened by mine. Brother, you are missing out on some wonderful sharing and give and take. And please do not give me the typical response...you are in danger of heresy. Poppycock!

But, as I know, this discussion is useless. I am also glad that you do not have my address because I fear you would do what your cohorts did to my class...call in the calvary, invade and go to war.
I actually believed that my SBC church would have the interesting discussions that I have had elsewhere. How stupid of me. But don't worry Kevin. You have won. I am leaving the purity of the SBC. One more purge accomplished. Pat yourself on the back.

However, do not be troubled. Prettty soon the SBC will be filled with people who believe exactly everything that you believe. Too bad that you will sacfrifice freedom of thought in "B" issues. You will have a nice chorus of "Amens" and be more like an Amway meeting than the church.

Dee

Anonymous said...

Old earth perspectives can't be right by some merit of deduction in the realm of creation. Animals had to be made relatively soon after plants were made. Plants need the CO2 to survive. But in realizing this it was not in my commiitment to Scripture that made me arrived at this point it was deduction of evidence. In deductive evidence of management in a household often one has to be able to make finall decisions. The problem is observing this debate in looking at the blog after the last few weeks and seeing how leadership is addressing this issue needs to be about equipping leadership in the home to be effective. To insitute fundamental dogma does not solve quandries in families as much a liberal perspectives as well. Maybe the argument needs to be about money is spent...liketo build buildings and instead be used on building up communities. I am not a minister and in seeing this vision that Southwestern is doing in a very poor section of Ft. Worth don't make a lick of sense. When is this issue going to be considered in the blog in the midst of troubled forecasted economy. We need to be about community reforms and we are twiddling our thumbs on issues submission to somehow curb liberalism. Do we not forget that Paul admonished Timothy to watch our doctrine and our lives as well?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I haven't agreed with all the comments here on a varitey of things, but I have truly enjoyed them all. I actually find myself strengthened in my view when I run into a comment that I disagree with, but I am more informed.

With all these ladies you have commenting now, perhaps a blog name change is in order.

I'm thinking Grace and Ruth to Sue.

Hope that made you smile this morning.

Have a great day!

SL1M

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
I’ve only read yours and Wade’s comment since I spent the rest of the night putting 75 letters written by 59 people that were printed in the Baptist Standard on my blog so if anyone wanted to know the “outcry” they could read them. Most were printed in 2002.

The last letter was printed in the Texas Baptist Committed by Stan R. Lee of Rwanda, Africa who was on the field for 24 years.

The devil tried to remove him all that time, but where the devil failed, the IMB succeeded.

His letter ended: “It may be that this will turn out to be the end of my missionary career, but I want you to know that if I go, I go as a true Baptist and a true servant of the SBC, but Christ is first. ALL FOR CHRIST.”

I believe he was fired by egos of little men.

peter lumpkins said...

Chris,

No apology needed, my brother. But a 'thank you' is appropriate. Rarer still do apologies come from any sector of Baptist blogdom.

And, I know through first hand experience that humor so often gets lost from keyboard to screen, with hardly a lonely soul offering the benefit of a doubt. Instead the darkest, creepiest motives are read into the thread.

I often wonder what Jesus would peck out in a comment if logging on to some--NO, wait, MOST!--of our threads.

Grace, Chris.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Debbie,

May the Lord bless you and keep you...And may His face shine upon you and give you peace.

With that, I am...

Peter

Wanda said...

I have been thinking about those missionaries who were fired for not signing the BFM. Does anyone know how many were men and how many were women? And were some of them married? Just curious.

NativeVermonter said...

I won't deny my naïveté--not for an instant--and maybe yesterday's thought did not prove serious enough to warrant discussion. That being said, I just can't think of a logical reason why a local church, that is serious enough and missions minded enough, can't nurture one of their own to enter the mission field.

Surely the local church regardless of its size, can afford to develop a relationship with a community and begin to partner, build, and strengthen ties that will allow a visible presence for the next generation. I've seen this accomplished with no NAMB, IMB, SBC presence at all!

So to our fired missionaries, the door may have closed in one aspect but it may prove to be a Godsend in the end.

John in St. Louis

Gary Snowden said...

Wanda,

You asked about the make-up of those missionaries who were fired for not signing the BF&M 2000--whether they were men, women, or couples. I can't give exact numbers on this, but of the many I know personally who chose to resign rather than sign and in our case as well, we're speaking about couples. I would strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority were indeed couples as the IMB appoints relatively few single women and practically no single men as career missionaries. There are of course many short-term single missionaries, both men and women, but these are serving terms of up to two years.

In the case of those who resigned and were dismissed, the IMB lost hundreds of years of experience as most of those who resigned or eventually were fired were veteran missionaries who had been on the field for many terms.

I think the IMB spoke of 77 as the number of missionaries who chose to resign rather than sign. I can assure you on the basis of conversations with other missionaries that this number was low. That is because it includes only those who stated officially that their refusal to sign the BF&M 2000 was the cause of their resignation. A good many others did in fact resign for that motive but offered other "reasons" as the cause, not wishing to burn all of their bridges behind them. For others of us, we clearly wanted our fellow SBC members to know the real reason we were painfully leaving the ministries that we loved and to which we had dedicated our lives.

Wanda said...

SL1M said:

"I haven't agreed with all the comments here on a varitey of things, but I have truly enjoyed them all. I actually find myself strengthened in my view when I run into a comment that I disagree with, but I am more informed.

With all these ladies you have commenting now, perhaps a blog name change is in order.

I'm thinking Grace and Ruth to Sue."

Given what SL1M has shared, it might be best if men who post on this blog stopped reading the comments because they could be in danger of doing something UNBIBLICAL -- learning from women! Perish the thought!!! (Sorry Louis, but these exclamation points are very necessary!)

"Women are to remain silent." SL1M's testimony proves that the narrow interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 which some Christians have adopted makes no sense in our modern culture.

The free exchange of ideas between Christian men and women is a very healthy exercise.

Wanda said...

Gary,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my question about missionaries who refused to sign the BF&M 2000.

What a sad testimony. My heart hurts for all those missionaries who were serving the Lord and chose not to sign a document written by man, not God. The BF&M statement is legalism to the core.

I echo the sentiments you shared yesterday on this blog:

"I think that denominational history will one day judge this event as one of the darkest in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention."

Tom Parker said...

Rex Ray:

I wrote a personal letter to Dr. Jerry Rankin in 2003 after the missionaries were fired my displeasure with his actions. I did not get a personal response. An assistant sent me an email with the party line. I personally lost respect for Dr. Rankin after this. Even today people have stood up for Dr. Rankin to keep him in his job, but he showed little to no compassion for these missionaries. God will hold him and the others that fired these dear souls accountable.

Sadly Rex these real people are viewed as collateral damage by some. They point out the number 13, but you and I know it was much higher. People who should have stood up for these people remained eerily silent at the time. I believe the real reason was fear.
Fear is a great motivator to remain silent. However, fear is a very poor excuse.

Our denomination has done so many things to turn people away from Jesus and the firing of our own missionaries was certainly a historical event that will always be a black eye.

I love you in the Lord, Rex Ray and let's keep standing up for these missionaries. Some want to pretend this happened a long time ago, but it was the year 2003.

Joe Blackmon said...

If I give money to a missionary through the cooperative program, I expect that missionary to hold to biblical beliefs. There is nothing in the BFM 2000 that is unbiblical but rather all items in that document are fully supported by clear biblical teaching. If a missionary would not sign that document because they held views different than what that document stated then I don't want them to be paid with money I give to the CP. They should've been fired. Those who cry "You can't sign a statement of faith" or "This is a creed. I won't sign a creed" (weepy violin music playing in the background) should remember the choice was pretty simple: If this is what you believe, sign it. If this isn't what you believe, go work somewhere else. No one was saying you can't be a missionary. You just can't be an SBC missionary. Make your choice. I suspect, however, that at least some of the "I ain't signin' no creed" crowd actually had reservations about the doctrines expressed in the documemnt.

Stephen said...

Wade - You are to be commended for your courage. Keep "needling" with your Christ-like character. God Bless You.

I suggest we eliminate the ERLC and replace the BFM with the RA Pledge.

Tom Parker said...

Joe Blackmon:

Repeat after me--If only I had a heart.

So simple for you to say fire them.
These were real people, just like me and you and some had been missionaries for numerous years.

It's all about your money aint it.

What a pity.

Tom Parker said...

Joe Blackmon:

Repeat after me--If only I had a heart.

So simple for you to say fire them.
These were real people, just like me and you and some had been missionaries for numerous years.

It's all about your money aint it.

What a pity.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom Parker

Repeat after me: If I only had conviction.

Some people sell their integrity cheap. I work in a profession where there have been people who have been told to do something that they felt was wrong or be fired--ignore something, enter false information. Before I started my job, I and my family had to understand that there might come a day when someone might ask me to do something similar to that. If these people didn't want to affirm these clear, biblical truths they should've quit. I mean, it's not like Sherri Klouda and her situation. She was not violating any biblical principals--she taught an ancient language. That is WAY different than pastoring a church. She should not have been fired. That was wrong.

It's all about holding on til the Mainstream Resurgence (tm), ain't it?

What a pity.

Anonymous said...

'A man's honor is a reflection of the honor he gives to the dignity of those in his care.'

Prof. Wimsey Dumbledorff

Thy Peace said...

All these acronyms are making me dizzy.

Pastor Wade: A suggestion. Can you do an article on these acronyms? And please place it in a static link for newbies like me.

Of course, if I was not lazy, I could search them myself ... but that is so much work ...

Anonymous said...

Wanda - What on God's green earth are you talking about!?

I made as much of a...

"non threatening, I think it's great exchanging all of these thoughts, lot's of ladies sharing ideas"

...kind of comment that I can make, and you want to take it and whack me up and down my back side like a wooden stick?

"Given what SL1M has shared, it might be best if men who post on this blog stopped reading the comments because they could be in danger of doing something UNBIBLICAL -- learning from women! Perish the thought!!!"

I'm thinking you didn't even read what I wrote. Good grief!

Furthermore, let me say that I have learned an untold amount of biblical lessons from my mother, several of the best bible study teachers I have ever had were Ms. Joann and Ms. Cindy, there is a lady names Kay Arthur that I have learned a tremendous amount from, two different Sunday School teachers, and what's more is that I could listen to (and look at!) Beth Moore all day long.

On the other hand, from you, and with the attitude you have, I am certain I don't want to learn anything.

And then you offer this one out of left field...

"'Women are to remain silent.'
SL1M's testimony proves that the narrow interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 which some Christians have adopted makes no sense in our modern culture."

My testimony? How dare you make that my testimony! Did you even read my comment above? Where did I say that Wanda?

I said, in fact, the exact opposite Wanda.

Oh brother. I wonda about you Wanda.

Whenever you say derogatory things and try to strengthen it by throwing around scripture and making it part of someone else's testimony and none of it is consistent with what the other person said, your comment makes you sound like a punk looking for a fight.

You might even be proving a point that I wasn't even trying to make.

You did say, "The free exchange of ideas between Christian men and women is a very healthy exercise."

I couldn't agree more. But it IS NOT healthy if you continue to attribute positions and words to others when they didn't say them.

It is very unhealthy.

In summary, I said precisely the exact opposite of what you are insinuating I said in your comment Wanda!

I am thinking you are intent on causing strife where none existed.

Is that biblical, Wanda?

I would say that if you don't have anything to reply that actually engages anything the other person comments on and you only want to cause strife by making things up, then keep your trap shut.

Any other ladies (or even men :)) have opinions, life lessons, or stories to share, I'm all ears.

SL1M

Joe Blackmon said...

Oh, I just thought about something---were the missionaries who were fired offered any sort of severance package? If they were not I would say that is wrong. I have zero problem with them being fired but I would have no problem with giving some severance pay so they would have a chance to find other employment or another missions organization to serve with.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

The comment from Stephen was both strikingly funny and profound, I will interpret the acronyms in his post.

ELRC is the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in Washington D.C. It is the lobbying firm for the SBC (among other things). The BFM, of course, is the Baptist Faith and Message.

The RA pledge is the Royal Ambassador Pledge. I was in R.A.'s when I was young. It is like Boy Scouts, but the Southern Baptists operated it to teach boys about missions. I used to say the pledge, and I'm sure someone can give us the exact wording.

Though I confess to chuckling when reading Stephen's comment, on reflection, I think he may be on to something.

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

For you it is always about the Bible, but it is always your interpretation.

You use the Bible like a big stick.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking--you would have fired these people--show me brother, your integrity.

BTW, did you do anything to help Dr. Klouda?

Tom Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wanda said...

SL1M,

Wow! I must have really hit a nerve; otherwise, you wouldn't have reacted the way you did. Remember, you're the one who either jokingly or sarcastically suggested that Wade rename his blog to reflect the gender of the commenters. How should I have interpreted your remark?

When I quoted two verses of scripture in my previous comment, I wasn't directing them at you but at the position of the SBC with regard to the role of women in the church. Women have no voice when it comes to church polity. Since you are a man, you couldn't possibly understand.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

I can say this with all honesty, I found out about what happened to Dr. Klouda like within the past month. Actually, it was on this blog was the first time I'd heard about it. What is her situation now? Are donations still being taken?

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

Wade's church was taking donations at one time for Dr. Klouda and I'm sure she is still in finacial need. Maybe when Wade sees this post he will once again make a call for donations for this dear woman.

You and I can agree that what happened to this woman was wrong and should never happen again. She was not preaching, she was teaching Hebrew.

May those that feel strongly about Dr. Klouda dig deep and make a financial contribution and that includes me.

Anonymous said...

Louis,

In your comment to Susie, you wrote:

"You make an excellent point. Many people do remain in the SBC because they love their local church. I actually think that is a very wholesome motivation."

Yes, Louis, you are right about the love that people have for their local church:

If the local church to which they belong is like an extended family (as many are, thank God); this church then becomes His 'Church'.

It is a place where one's precious little children are lovingly taught of God.

It is a place where food and clothing are organized to be brought to the needy. Or, better yet, the needy are invited in to be fed and clothed, and cared for.

It is a place where members organize to volunteer to provide rides for those who need to be taken for medical care.

It is a place where someone whose marriage is in trouble can go for counseling AND sometimes, receive real help.

It is a place where the old may come during the day and have the protection of the company of others while family members are working.

It is place where those whose I.Q.'s are not as high as ours, can exhibit spiritual I.Q.'s far above ours, to our astonishment and to the glory of Almighty God.

It is a place where a lonely person may find a Friend and His friends to surround him and bring him into the warm light of God's love.

It is a place where people can bring their own special gifts to share with each other in His Name.

It is a place of the healing and renewal of one's spirit, in sanctuary.

Can anyone just 'walk away' easily? Whatever it is that drives people from their church home has to be SOMETHING SO EVIL to them that they have no choice .

So people stay and hope. They stay for the sake of the vulnerable ones who so much need the outpouring of God's love that their church can provide.

There has to be a way to heal the "SBC" from within, not so much for sake of those who can willfully leave the church; but for the sake of those vulnerable church members that they protect.

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Dee:

I am sorry to hear about your church experience. I don't want to get into passing judgment on your church and all that is going on. Still, it sounds like there is a lot of arguing over things and not much Grace.

I wish you the best in finding a healthy church home.

I can say that at my church we have many people who disagree on various issues. We have some theistic evolutionists, more creationists etc. But the evolutionists do not deny the text of scripture and say that it is myth based on the understanding of the original writers of scripture (as liberal theologians do). They consider it an issue of interpretation only, much like Francis Collins does in "The Language of God." They believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. For them, it's just figuring out how to mesh the scientific evidence that we can measure with their belief in the sovereignty of God and their knowledge that He transcends what we can measure and discover.

It's very much like the resurrection. No one denies that people die. Bodies decay into nothing. That is a scientific truth that no one denies. But Jesus rose from the dead and tells us that we will rise, too. We believe that by faith. And even though scientifically we may not be able to measure and see that, we believe that as creator, God transcends what is normal science that we observe and does something miraculously. It is still completely "scientific", but we just can't measure it with our tools and finite minds. He did it at the creation and He will do that at the end of the earth. Even materialists cannot explain where the first matter came from, the transition from non-life to life, where is the end of the universe and what is on the other side etc. No one has the answers to these questions and no one ever will.

I believe that the healthier position for the church is to not get into death debates about the particulars on this.

Chris, thank you for your thoughtful comments about the place of the BFM and its application to denominational employees. That is a legitimate debate to have. The moderate position was that employees of the denomination do not have to believe or sign off on the BFM because of the Priesthood of the Believer. Even today, Cecil Sherman says that the only guide to denominational service should be "good faith, good sense" and then refuses to discuss what that means.

That is not a wise approach in my opinion, and not really a biblical one either.

But at the end of the day, Baptists have decided that the moderate approach is not one that they want to follow any longer. To correct the errors of the past and to address the concern over theological liberalism, this generation of Baptists have decided that they want their denominational employees to believe the convention's Statement of Faith.

You are right that not every baptist voted to do that etc. But that is the way organized groups work. I never drafted, ratified or signed the Constitution of the U.S., but 1987, the Congress drafted it, then the voters ratified it, and it became the law. It's just a recognized method of community organization.

Baptists come together to do work, they adopt a statement of faith that expresses what they hold in common, Constitution, By laws etc. All of this work is done by committees and voted on by those Baptists attending the annual meeting. Then, each of the entities have constitutuions, charters, perhaps their own confession (e.g. Southern's Abstract of Principles). Not all of the students, donors, professors etc. helped draft or voted on those documents, but they live under them as part of the institution.

I know that you may disagree that this is the best way to run things. That's o.k. by me. I think that you have done a good job setting forth your position.

I wish you the best, and look forward to blogging with you further.

Louis

Gary Snowden said...

A response directed to Joe Blackmon's comment above where he states, "There is nothing in the BFM 2000 that is unbiblical but rather all items in that document are fully supported by clear biblical teaching" ...

As Tom Parker well observes, we're talking here about interpretation of biblical passages that not all conservative Christians agree upon. To say that everything in the BF&M 2000 is fully supported by clear biblical teachings is to willfully ignore the objections of thousands of Southern Baptists who have pointed out that the changes introduced in this document reflect more of a response to the cultural wars than anything else. Several entire Baptist state conventions have not adopted this latest version of the BF&M for some very solid reasons.

I don't want to monopolize Wade's comment string, but if you'd like to investigate this further, I'm going to post on my blog my letter to our regional leader of the IMB, explaining why I in good faith and conscience could not sign the BF&M 2000. I trust that you will at least read it with an open mind before you hastily judge and dismiss all non-signers of the document as folks whose doctrine is unsound and thus are unqualified to serve as IMB missionaries.

Wanda said...

SL1M said:

"and what's more is that I could listen to (and look at!) Beth Moore all day long."

If you're married, I wonder whether your wife knows. . .

Who else do you enjoy looking at?

Anonymous said...

Joe!

You said to Tom,

"I can say this with all honesty, I found out about what happened to Dr. Klouda like within the past month. Actually, it was on this blog was the first time I'd heard about it. What is her situation now? Are donations still being taken?"

Oh Joe, I knew you had a heart. You can't hide that under all your gruffness. You are an old softy afterall. If you can have compassion and deep pockets for poor Dr. Klouda, then you are all right with me. No matter what 'dang fundamentalist' stuff you come up with in future; I will only remember your compassion for Dr. Klouda. :) :) :) L's Gran

Anonymous said...

"I must have really hit a nerve;"

Wanda, if I say something about you or a position that I think you hold, and it is not a position you hold, and you in fact have never said it was a position you hold, and furthermore it is the exact opposite of the position you hold,
would that hit a nerve with you?

Would it hit a nerve with you if I also started slinging around scripture to make me look better and make you look worse?

I think it would.

"When I quoted two verses of scripture in my previous comment, I wasn't directing them at you but at the position of the SBC with regard to the role of women in the church."

I don't believe you were because I don't THINK you are that dense.

If you want to make sure a particular person is disconnected from a comment you are about to make, then don't put his name all around it, before it, after it, and in it.

Do you really have to be told this?

Like I said, I don't believe you. I think I was at least a part of the group you were directing that comment to, and that is not only a lie, it is unfortunate that you were comfortable enough to say as much.

SL1M

Tom Parker said...

slim:

Do you stay in attack mode,always looking for fights, particularly with women?

Joe Blackmon said...

Wanda

Regarding your question to SLiM as to who else he likes to look at--it is possible for a man to look at a woman and think "Wow, she's pretty" and not be lusting after her. I have no idea as to whether Mr. SLiM was pure in his thoughts or not but I just wanted to throw that out there.

I'm having a harder time understanding how anyone would look at her and think to themselves "She's pretty". Still scratching my head over that one.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Tom:

I shall remain anonymous for reasons to follow: when I showed by husband some of the junk 'you know who' accused me of: in particularly 'adulteress',; I will NOT disgrace this web by telling you what my husband said.

I've been in a Christian marriage for forty years. I've been called a lot of things. But 'adulterous' is not one of them. Until, now. So the 'thin man' certainly does not have a high opinion of women in general, I think.

SHOCKED

Anonymous said...

"and what's more is that I could listen to (and look at!) Beth Moore all day long."

If you're married, I wonder whether your wife knows. . .

Who else do you enjoy looking at?"


What is your problem Wanda? Are you a Christian?

It is none of your business if I am married and please don't tell me you are idiot enough to think that it is wrong to admire beauty in women? Or do you only think of sex? Is that what you think of Wanda?

I bet you do go straight to depravity now that I am getting a better insight into your character.

Beth Moore is beautiful! Not only in physical attributes but the way she shares her heart, tells bible stories, and relates biblical truths to todays Christians.

You are repulsive to me to even think that you thought of that. and then you had it in you to actual type that, and then you send it!

So many chances to stop yourself and yet you refused. There's a biblical story that fits you, if you care to look it up.

I am offended by your repeated comments of hatefulness directed toward me. You are full of hatred toward someone like me that happens to agree with your position regarding women, and then you say something like this?

It makes me cringe to think what you do to those you disagree with or that disagree with you Wanda? What do you accuse them of? How often do you insult them or their wife or family? Daily?...or just weekly?

Let me guess. You drown them in your "godly" love even though they disagree with you?

You are not someone I want to know and I would appreciate you not directing any more comments to me.

Wade - I regret having to defend myself this way. It is too harsh, it is not the real me and I hate it. If you will see what Wanda has said to me, I think you will agree she is wrong but you will also be right in saying that I was too harsh in my reply. Therefore please ask Wanda to not direct any more comments to me and to please refrain from making comments to others that have to do with questioning my faithfulness to my wife as well as accusing me of adultery before God.

Thank you and once again forgive my aggressive defense to this nonsense.

SL1M

peter lumpkins said...

Chris,

I read through the comment you posted on the historical distinction between credal statements and confessional statements, the distinction upon which Baptists have attempted to build their politic relationships. How striking we agree so much.

I mentioned a couple of years back--on this very site, in fact--my discomfort with what I perceived an unhealthy focus on the BF&M. The more one appeals to it, the more authority--albeit implicit authority but authority nonetheless--it gathers, almost as a magnetizing beam begins to emanate from it.

The way I recall, this was at the height of the PPL discussion, where sincere, but wrong-headed insistence kept being hammered out that "the BF&M" is silent about PPL...the BF&M is silent about PPL..."

The hole was dug so deep, in fact, that one young whip actually said he prayed for the demise of the SBC. The comment thread is still available for evaluation.

That represented, for me, the warning shot that SBs were close to being irreparably fractured. It also was the "birth" of my alleged "Baptist Identity" label since I obviously defended our historic Baptist heritage, and did so with a vengeance, a new role for me since I have historically worked with denominations of all stripes focusing on mass evangelism.

Not that we've not had our 'battles' before. Those who say "I just joined an SBC church and I can't believe the arguing, etc". Well, welcome to the wonderful world of Baptists! That's what we've always done. And, I predict, we always will, till Jesus comes.

Eminent Baptist historian Walter Shurden wrote the first little volume on Baptist history I'd ever read--"Not A Silent People"--with chapter one, indelibly printed on my mind, being entitled "Here Come The Battlin' Baptists." We've always fought, and for the most part, survived...historically, speaking.

Now is different, I think. We're on the verge, not of splitting, similar to the CBF fiasco. Rather, we're cracking up into varied, sometimes virtually irreconcilable, splinter-cells (I use cells because, comparatively speaking, we're so darn big).

I took a couple of detours to finally say this: though it goes against my hopeless affinity with non-credalism, being a proud spiritual descendant of The Sandy Creek Separate Baptist bloodline, I would be dishonest if I did not confess that cautiously tipping the scales, if possible, a quarter-inch toward credal (Lord forgive!) may not, after all, be the most viable way out of this fractured quagmire we have unfortunately found ourselves in.

I don't know that. And I don't know anyone who does. Frankly, I'm tempted to delete this comment even as I peck away. But something *must* happen or the splitering will pass the threshold to the journey of no return.

And, the way I hesitatingly see it, if a temporary focus on a stronger confessionalism--a position about which I am admittedly nervous--will heal us, I must submit to it regardless of my discomfort with it. World evangelism is at stake.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Tom - Think "evangelism"...

and then react appropriately.

Thanks!

SL1M

Robert I Masters said...

An Observation:
Presently those commenting are;

1)not in the SBC.

2)of the older generation.

3)disgruntled former SBC and/or CBF members.

4)genuine theological liberals

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Stephen said...

Here is the Royal Ambassador Pledge:

"As a Royal Ambassador I will do my best to become a well informed
responsible follower of Christ;
to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how the message of Christ is carried around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy
in mind and body."

Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

Slim:

"What is your problem Wanda? Are you a Christian?"

Some of us are beginning to ask:
'Slim, are YOU a Christian. Your words on this blog are accusatory, mean-spirited, filled with seeing God as hateful towards mankind, you dwell on evil and sin and darkness. Take a look in the mirror! It is not Christ you speak for! You do not preach His message.

So, Slim, are YOU a Christian?
For whom do you 'evangelize', the Dark One? Some of us wonder.

FORTULA

Anonymous said...

THE DEVILS OF THE BGCT DO IT AGAIN!


The 2.3 million theologically-conservative, politically-moderate, God-fearing, Bible-believing devils of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (in 5500 churches and missions) adversely impacted their state (with 23 million citizens), nation, and world again in 2007 this way (may the Lord--and Kevin Crowder and ones like him--forgive those devils):

* Contributed $56,747,621 in Cooperative Program gifts

* Contributed a total of over $162,000,000 for missions

* Baptized 44,083 persons

* Provided short-term strategic partnership missions projects in over 30 countries and states

* Provided food and benevolence assistance to 1,286,388 people resulting in 6,449 professions of faith through poverty ministries

* Gave service and ministry to 162,118 persons through multiple child care homes

* Admitted 204,327 patients in 5 hospital systems

* Treated 2,628,677 outpatients, and provided $273,101,321 charity hospitalizations at Baptist hospitals

* Reached 82,638 students across the state through Texas Baptist Student Ministry

* Awarded $2+ million in Ministerial Financial Assistance to 1,452 undergraduate students in Texas Baptist Schools

* Funded 52 loans through Baptist Church Loan Corporation totaling $16.2 million to churches for construction and remodeling

* Commissioned 423 student missionaries to serve through Go Now Missions (Texas Baptist Student Missions) serving in 16 Texas associations, 13 states and 31 foreign countries

* And, unfortunately, so much more that you can read about here: http://www.bgct.org/documents/pdf/2007BGCTFactSheet.pdf


Someone who cares, please phone Kevin Crowder to let him know that it appears he's exactly correct: the poor devils of the BGCT obviously are wrong in their understanding and practice of the inerrant Holy Bible--and stand in critical need of repentance toward God and their fellow Southern Baptists so that they will conform much more closely to the kind of congregation that Kevin is leading his church--affiliated with the peaceful and angelic Missouri Baptist Convention--to become. Maybe also read the fact sheet to Kevin--a few times, slowly--so that he can really bask in how well bloggers finally know that he grasps both theology and ministry matters. (Not certain what the MBC's counterpart SBTC was doing during the same time period, but--whatever it was--fortunately it wasn't on the same scale as that convention either forwards almost all of its CP receipts to the SBC or possibly uses it to pay a headquarters mortgage payment.)

Thanks. ;-))


David Troublefield
One of Those BGCT Devils
in Texas

Anonymous said...

Robby,

What is a 'liberal'?

What is a 'theological liberal?

Can you define please

CURIOUS

Chris said...

Joe, I'll only echo what has been said before. Legitimate conservatives can disagree over issues in the BFM 2000 and still serve God together. To fire them for adhering to positions they can support with the Bible because they aren't the positions that SBC leadership agrees with is wrong.

Louis, if that is truly the case (in which case, my heart breaks), then lets at least call a spade a spade and admit this is a creed and not a statement of faith.

Peter, please don't spread it around that you and I might agree. I've got a good rep and don't want to loose it just yet. Kidding, of course. I first really noticed it with the PPL issue. That made me very uncomfortable when people (including the MO Baptist newspaper) openly wrote that because PPL weren't affirmed in the BFM 2000 they were illigitimate. I wanted to know what the Bible said, but nobody seemed interested in that conversation. I respectfully disagree with your conclusion, though. It is that slight tip that has gotten us into the mess. I don't see how going further gets us out.

Robert, I'm not a disgruntled former nor am I an old-timer. I don't think I qualify as a liberal either (though some Fundamentalist friends have suggested otherwise). It's never wise to overly generalize with words like 'all.' Be more careful next time.

Anonymous said...

Slim:

YOU wrote these words to Wanda:

"I am offended by your repeated comments of hatefulness directed toward me. You are full of hatred toward someone like me that happens to agree with your position regarding women, and then you say something like this?

It makes me cringe to think what you do to those you disagree with or that disagree with you? What do you accuse them of? How often do you insult them or their wife or family? Daily?...or just weekly?

Let me guess. You drown them in your "godly" love even though they disagree with you?"


SLIM:
DO YOU REALIZE THAT THESE ARE THE VERY WORDS SOMEONE COULD AND SHOULD WRITE TO YOU?

In berating Wanda, you are describing your own behavior to others. And now, having abused so many verbally, you want to run to Wade for protection?????

Slim: you reap what you sow.

Stop treating the women on this block with the disrespect, now so prevalent in the 'leadership' towards women in the SBC. Your disrespect is serious verbal abuse.

All Wanda did was to hold up a mirror for you to look into. If you didn't like the image of yourself , go to work and improve it.

FORTULA

kelly said...

Wade,

Thank you very much for this post.

You are right to doubt the official dogma that the conservative resurgence was about the Bible. It was largely a power play motivated by a much larger fundamentalist theological agenda which is now coming to light within the SBC (partly thanks to you). Inerrancy was little more that a rallying cry, a political slogan of sorts, designed to create a controversy where none really existed. It worked well as a sound bite and won the day. And while I do not blame the people in the pews, I do find some fault with the many pastors who allowed themselves and their sheep to be carried along with the current. The truth is that there was not a nickel’s worth of difference between the Chicago Statement (once all of the qualifiers are taken into account) and the actual nuanced positions held by most moderate scholars active in SBC life during the relevant time period (Yes, there were a handful of real theological liberals in the seminaries, but not very many.) All of that is water under the bridge now. Nevertheless, I am glad to hear someone like you – a fully credentialed SBC supporter – express the sentiments set forth in this post. Your transparent honesty is as refreshing as your charity to those with whom you have serious disagreements. It is and always has been a rare combination of virtues (i.e., “speaking the truth in love”).

I was a student and a religion major at Oklahoma Baptist University (Class of 1983). All of this controversy about the Bible in the SBC was really just getting heated up back in 1979 when I started there. My first religion class was taught by a feisty little old lady who really loved the Bible. Her name was Rowena Strickland. If memory serves me correctly, she was, perhaps ironically, a graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary. I believe she has an academic chair named in her honor at OBU. I feel certain that she had a profound impact on many young people (mostly men) studying for the ministry. Dr. Strickland was very conservative theologically. But, I wonder whether she could even get that teaching position today. Sadly, there is virtually no place for Rowena Stricklands in SBC life today as demonstrated by the Klouda debacle. Indeed, I do not believe that OBU has had a woman on the religion department faculty since she left. This is not a digression. My point is that her view of scripture could not have been “higher.” Southern Baptists today probably would not have the benefit of her dedication to students and her scholarship because of her gender – not her views concerning the appropriate adjectives which should be used to describe the Bible. While I cannot recall the subject coming up, I expect that she would have not had any problem with the term “inerrant” as a descriptor of the Bible. Still, I doubt her contributions would be welcomed today by the architects and/or implementers of the conservative resurgence.

Keep “needling.” If you still don’t like that term, I think what you are doing could be called “speaking truth to power.” Perhaps you and other likeminded conservatives of good will can keep the SBC from any further narrowing of the parameters of cooperation. Frankly, I remain doubtful about the prospect of that happening (though your optimism helps). The drift toward majoring on minors and preoccupation with adiaphora is palpable (to the point of being sectarian in the most negative sense of that term). For my part, I will keep reading your post and hoping that the Baptist way of being Christian does not fade into memory with the passing of this century.

My own allegiances are now, and have been for along time, more with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship than with the SBC (I’m sure that is evident.) But the CBF has its own serious problems – “inclusiveness” as a de facto primary defining organizational value or characteristic is fraught with perils both practical and theological.. For that and other reasons, I have serious reservations about the future viability of the CBF as well.

Perhaps one day we will put into practice the old saying (Richard Baxter, I think): “In necessary things unity, in doubtful things liberty, in all things charity.” We have engaged in heated debate amongst ourselves concerning the differences between the necessary and the doubtful. This process will always be a part of Baptist life as we have no official magisterium (at least not yet). I wonder whether we can become more charitable toward each other in the process.

In the meantime, thanks again for taking up this task. It surely must be a calling.


Kelly

Robert I Masters said...

Chris,
I did not use the word "All".
I meant that as a generalization. I know several people on here who do not fit that category.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Wayne Smith said...

Rex Ray,

Thanks for all the research you have done to show the what these Brothers and Sister had to say about the BFM2000.

59 people write 75 Letters in Baptist Standard against BFM 2000

http://truthofacts.blogspot.com/

JOE BLACKMON, YOU SHOULD READ THESE LETTERS.

Wayne

Joe Blackmon said...

Wayne

Thanks for the suggestion. I did. It was the strangest thing though. While I was reading, in the background I could hear an orchestra in the background playing "My heart bleeds for you". I think it was in E flat, actually, which is kind of weird because most string players don't like flats.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Joe Blackmon said "There is nothing in the BFM 2000 that is unbiblical but rather all items in that document are fully supported by clear biblical teaching."

See Article II.C/7th line down.

A Major, Historic SB figure explicitly rejected this teaching.

And I'm not talking about Mullins or Hobbs either.

Hence, if the evidence gets released, then those [who previously accepted the BF&M 2000 preamble as fully true] who are exposed to it will either have to conclude [if the evidence is accepted] that this figure did not believe everything "essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice" or that the preamble to the BF&M 2000 contains error.

And if this figure did not believe everything essential, then it seems to follow that this figure was not a full orbed Baptist.

And if this figure was not a full orbed Baptist, then...

Stay tuned to a blog near you.

Grace

Benji

P.S. 'He' baptizes...

Joe Blackmon said...

benji

Huh? Ok, first of all, I don't believe what I believe because the BFM 2000 says so. It just happens to reflect what I believe. 2nd of all, I don't really care or follow what SBC leaders believe and use that as a measure of what I should believe. For instance, Patterson's firing of Dr. Klouda was wrong. I don't need anyone to tell me that. In fact, I would say a good number of SBC leadership are not people I would look to as examples in the faith (i.e. Patterson is a goober. However, I've heard he does a great impression of Foghorn Leghorn "Ah say, ah say son...").

Anonymous said...

Lady Fortula

Please listen. I can't say it any clearer than this. If you don't get it, it's your problem.

From the data I can gather on this post and the last, I am on Wanda's side (and presumably yours) regarding this "women" issue that has everyone up in arms.

I cannot make that any clearer.

What does that have to do with her accusing me of adultery and asking me who else I commit adultery with? She also greatly disrespected a fine Woman, Beth Moore, when she said that.

Whether you like me or not, and even if Wanda is your hero, if you are a believer, you will know the wrongness of her statement.

I don't know what you referring to about reaping what I sow and treating women with disrespect and the other garbage you said. (Did you see what I wrote above about some of the women in my life and the role they played! Ugh!)

Why don't you ask me what I think about any of these issues and see what I think about women and how they should be treated?

I will tell you this much from what I do know, I hold the same position as Wade. As you know, it is much easier for people to just make up stuff, especially if they are looking to cause dissention and grief.

I'm also not running to Wade as you say. I simply apologized to him on his blog for my aggressive defense of a hurtful wrong committed by Wanda.

I have yet to hear Wanda apologize and I suspect we won't.

From Christian to Christian, I would like to ask you to please not interact with me regarding this matter anymore. It is done. I have forgiven Wanda and I have asked for forgiveness.

If you are not a Christian, feel free to ignore my respectful request to stop and you may ask me more questions or make horrible accusations towards me. Just don't expect a reply.

This is robbing from the post and I would like to stop.

Thanks in advance.

SL1M

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
Do you consider societal based mission organizations like New Tribes,TEAM ,Crossworld,GEM, GMU,Worlteam,Pioneers; to be Fundamentalist?

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

To Slim's Victims:

Slim does not want our responses to his muck. Do we want his?

When Slim throws slime; some of it is going to get on his own hands.

I'm for not letting him wipe his hands off on us.

FORTULA

Anonymous said...

Chris:

Sounds like a Creed to have no Creed!

Kelly:

Enjoyed reading your experience. We disagree on the motives for the CR, but that's o.k.

What I found interesting from your summary were two things. First, your candor about the CBF and its lack of having any theological paramenters (my terms, not yours) was accurate. That is a real problem. I sure hope the CBF remains viable because there are a good number of people who really believe in the vision of having no parameters for denominational employees set by the denomination. They need a place to employ that vision. So, I hope CBF remains an option for them.

Second, unlike some in the moderate camp, you admit that there were theological liberals teaching in the schools. We can disagree with numbers, but that's not significant.

What became a problem in Baptist life was, even if the number was very small, the then Baptist ruling class had no mechanism to deal with the theological liberals. They knew they were there, but they couldn't deal with them straightforwardly. That was the problem.

Looking back, if I had been advising the moderates (and believe me, that would have never happened), it would have been wise to open the doors to the seminary, to receive complaints and to go through the faculities to see what kind of problems were there, and then to help those men and women transition to schools where they would have been more at home.

I think that approach would have been more productive than a 10-15 year long campaign that essentially revolved around denying that there were any liberals or saying that we couldn't do anything about them because of the Priesthood of the Believer.

I would really like to hear more from you in the future on this or other blogs.

And I would really like to hear about what you are seeing in the way of theological concerns in the CBF.

I have a friend who is getting his Ph.D. in church history at our local university (not a Christian school at all). He told me that Cecil Sherman (of all people) is actually concerned about the theological state of Baptist Seminary at Richmond. It seems Sherman is the most conservative guy on the faculty (I guess he is adjunct now), and that he is a bit distressed about the theological state of the seminary.

Talk about ironic.

That, I am afraid, is the trajectory of that movement. But as I have said, I hope desparately that it remains in tact so that we do not have another war in the SBC. We only have little brush fires from time to time now. I lived through one war, and am just not that bellicose to want to see another one.

Take care.

Louis

Tom Parker said...

slim:

Sounds to me like you are trying to bully people again by saying they are not christians if they respond to a situation that you created. Call me want you want, but I want back down--Tom Petty.

Chris said...

No, Louis, no creed. If it were a creed I would have condemned Peter to Hell for saying creeds may be good. As I agree to disagree with him, I issue my statement of faith that creeds aren't good while acknowledging that he can serve the Lord just as well from a more creedal position. I'm not disfellowshiping or barring from ministry anyone.

Therein is the fundamental difference between the two. It is exactly what you did when you said that you and I could disagree over this issue because both of us could defend our positions. You said that you believed one way and I another but both of us could serve God, even serve Him within the SBC.

But in the case of these missionaries, they were told that you will agree with us or you will not work with us. It didn't matter if they could biblically defend any position they held in opposition to the current BFM. Conformity was demanded and that is creedalism. If that is going to be the new SBC way, then lets call it such. If it's not, then let's stop acting like it is.

Robert I Masters said...

Anybody:
Feel free to answer my question concerning mission societies. I think it is very relevant to this discussion.


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

NativeVermonter said...

Okay, I want to play too. Since everyone is in such a foul mood, I'm going to share with you all the one person who really ticks me off on this blog, who's words just make me want to hurl and probably needs to fall on his knees right now and pray. I don't care if I get booted outta here or not and that person is:





























ME

Benji Ramsaur said...

Joe Blackmon,

Understood.

I would still encourage you to reflect on what might be coming out in the future.

Not as a slave to previous thought, but as one who doesn't mind meditating on his thought in the light of Scripture and in connection to the preamble.

God Bless

Benji

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
I did not even know the C/R took place when my missionary son sent an email he and all our missionaries received in 1997. I put it on Wade’s blog a long time ago. Due to its long length, I will only copy paste parts I had concerns about.

Report to the Board
Office of the President
Jerry Rankin, President
April 9, 1997

Enlarged text are concerns of Rex Ray

This is an awesome moment to stand before you and attempt to articulate the beginning of a NEW PARADIGM IN OVERSEAS ADMINISTRATION AND STRUCTURE. Such an expectancy has been created regarding these recommendations that it seems the WHOLE WORLD IS WAITING WITH BATED BREATHE for what I am going to say.


GOD IS ACCELERATING A MOVEMENT toward fulfilling His purpose of bringing a lost world to redemption. We are in the greatest era of overseas work opportunity in history, and we must be willing to make whatever changes are necessary to KEEP PACE WITH WHAT GOD IS DOING.

We are not suggesting rearranging the pieces in the way we do things, but instead we are preparing a REDESIGN OF THE WAY WE ARE ORGANIZED in order to facilitate our commitment to the task.

This is not just a matter of a different organization and way of operating, though that will be reflected in these proposals; these actions must stimulate a CHANGE OF ATTITUDE.

WE CANNOT STAY ON THE CUTTING EDGE IF WE CONTINUE TO SUCCUMB TO PARALLELISM THAT WOULD HOLD ALL NEEDS AND ENTITLEMENT OF ALL PERSONNEL TO BE EQUAL.

Obviously, changing the structure and roles of leadership will not bring about this NEW PARADIGM, but it can create an ETHOS that is LIBERATING and EMPOWERING.

Before I review the specific recommendations, let me state the REAL OBJECTIVE OF THIS NEW PARADIGM. We have a fantastic, dedicated field force, which represents the greatest potential we have ever had. To realize that potential through the GUIDANCE AND ANOINTING OF GOD WILL REQUIRE A SIGNIFICANT SHIFE IN ATTITUDES AND WAYS OF FUNCTIONING. We should recognize that some standardization of policy is necessary for serving the needs of more than 4,000 field personnel, and having recognized that, PUT THE POLICY MANUAL ON THE SHELF and focus on the task of winning our world. We are starting with structure, but the real evidence of change will come when the following characteristics are reflected.

1. A passion to know the Messiah and make Him known with a TOTAL ABANDONMENT THAT SUPERSEDES CONCERNS OF FINANCES, FAMILY AND PERSONAL FULFILLMENT.

2. A recognition that the IMB provides the best, most equitable support possible, within available resources and LETTERS ABOUT COST OF LIVING BECOME A THING OF THE PAST.

3. A passion to share at home what God is doing and mobilize support for overseas work so that there is NO CONSIDERATION OF WHAT COUNTS AS A FURLOUGH OBLIGATION OR NOT.


4. A CONFIDENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO FOLLOW THE WISDOM AND GUIDANCE OF GOD-APPOINTED LEADERSHIP WHETHER WE NECESSARILY UNDERSTAND OR AGREE.


Tom, this last one through me for a loop. To me, it replaced the Holy Spirit in guiding missionaries. In other words, it makes missionaries into robots. It makes “God-appointed leadership” into ‘appointed God’.

The difference between this email and the BFM 2000 is the email was a request; whereas the creed was a command.

Tom, you said Rankin never replied to your letter. In a later comment, I will print his reply to me that says missionaries would not be fired, and his last reply explaining why they were fired.

I see Rankin as a good man in trying to serve the Lord, but like Pilate, he was between a rock and a hard place and decided to save his job.

Rex Ray Bonham, TX

Anonymous said...

"How the SBC has Changed"

by Dr. Rick McClatchy and Dr. Bruce Prescott

"In the late 1970s two men, Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler, devised a plan to takeover the Southern Baptist Convention and change its direction. Their strategy inserted an alien winner-take-all system of power politics into the life of our denomination.

Patterson and Pressler studied the SBC’s constitution and bylaws and discovered that the convention was ultimately controlled by the appointment powers of the president. By electing change minded presidents for ten consecutive years and having those presidents appoint only change minded people to serve as trustees, within ten years they could replace the heads of all SBC institutions and agencies with change minded administrators. Beginning in 1979, that is what they did.

After extensive political organizing and busing messengers in to vote for convention presidents, the Pressler-Patterson coalition succeeded in winning elections by an average 55% to 45% ratio. In the late 1980’s some opposition was organized, but it was too little and too late. By the early 1990s most traditional Baptists had dropped out of the SBC. This essentially gave the Patterson-Pressler coalition a free hand to change the SBC.

How has the SBC changed since 1979?

The Patterson-Pressler coalition changed the role of the pastor in Baptist church life.

In traditional Baptist thought all members of the church were seen as equal ministers with different spiritual gifts — a doctrine referred to as the priesthood of believers. The role of the pastor in this context was to preach and teach, to train the congregation for service, to care for the needs of the congregation, and to provide administrative coordination to the work of the church. Pastors were viewed as servants of the church.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition insists that the pastor is the unquestioned ruler of the church. W. A. Criswell said, “Lay leadership of the church is unbiblical when it weakens the pastor’s authority as ruler of the church . . . a laity-led church will be a weak church anywhere on God’s earth. The pastor is ruler of the church.” In 1988 the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution affirming that the pastor was the ruler of the church.

This new emphasis on pastoral authority marks a departure from the traditional Baptist teaching on the priesthood of every believer.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition changed the educational process at the seminaries.

Traditionally, Baptists expected seminary professors to expose their students to various theological viewpoints. Baptist teachers were viewed as facilitators who guided students as they studied the scriptures and conscientiously formed their own theological convictions. This approach was in harmony with the traditional Baptist understanding that every believer has the right and responsibility to interpret the scriptures under the direct illumination of the Holy Spirit. It also acknowledged that every believer is accountable directly to God for conscientiously interpreting scripture, forming convictions, and living by them.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition expects seminary professors to indoctrinate their students to a very narrow theological viewpoint. Adrian Rogers (the first SBC president elected by the Patterson– Pressler coalition) said, “If we say pickles have souls, they (seminary professors) better teach that pickles have souls.” Seminary teachers who refused to comply were fired, sought employment elsewhere, or took early retirement. Their replacements are indoctrinators who have usurped the place of the Holy Spirit and now presume to make Southern Baptists accountable for living according to the interpretations and convictions of the Patterson-Pressler coalition.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition changed the use of confessions.

In Baptist thought doctrinal statements or confessions of faith never had authority over the individual conscience or over the local church. Southern Baptists in 1925 and 1963 stated, “Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.” However, in 2000 the Patterson-Pressler coalition stated that confessions are to be used as “instruments of doctrinal accountability.”

To whom are Southern Baptists now accountable for their beliefs? Are lay people accountable to their pastors? Are local churches accountable to their associations? Are associations accountable to their state conventions? Are state conventions accountable to the national convention? This trend toward hierarchy violates the autonomy of local churches and the freedom of all believers to discern and follow God’s will according to the dictates of their own consciences.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition changed the way the Bible is viewed.

In 1963, Southern Baptists held that the scriptures were a record of God’s self-revelation. After revealing his creative purpose and holiness to the patriarchs and prophets of Israel, God supremely and personally revealed himself through incarnation in Jesus. God inspired patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and others to record his acts of self-revelation in writing. This written record, the Bible, serves as the Christian’s guide for matters of belief and conduct. Since the supreme revelation of God was in Christ, He is the criterion by which scripture is to be interpreted. The entire Bible must be understood in light of Jesus’ teachings and example.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition refuses to affirm that the Bible is a “record” of God’s revelation. For them, the Bible is God’s supreme revelation of Himself. They contend that nothing can be known of Jesus apart from the Bible. The Bible, therefore, holds a position equal to or greater than Jesus. They also deny that Christ is the criterion for biblical interpretation. For them, the revelation of the Old Testament holds equal authority to the New Testament. Leviticus reveals as much as about God as does Matthew’s gospel. Patterson and Pressler accuse anyone who challenges their view of not believing the Bible.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition changed church/state relations.

Historically, Southern Baptists were strong advocates for church-state separation. We insisted that the state remain neutral on religious issues in order to protect liberty of conscience for religious minorities.

Baptists shaped public morality though the witness of the church rather than the through the power of the state. For more than sixty years, Southern Baptists have advocated this position through the work of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs in Washington D.C.

W.A. Criswell stated that separation of church and state was the figment of some infidel’s imagination.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition favors church-state accomodation. They intend to promote specific religious agendas through public policy and want religious majorities to have greater access to public funds to do so. The Patterson-Pressler coalition has defunded the Baptist Joint Committee and created an Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to promote their accomodationist agenda in Washington D.C.

The Patterson-Pressler coalition reversed the advances made by women.

In 1845, when the SBC began, the role of women in society, church, and the family was rather restricted. In time, things begin to change. Among advocates for change were noted Baptist missionaries such as Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. WMU was very instrumental in advancing the role of women in church life. By the 1960’s, churches were calling women as committee chairs, deacons and ministers.

The Patterson-Pressler began a reversal of these developments. In 1984 the SBC passed a resolution stating that women were excluded from being deacons or pastors. They ignored examples like Phoebe the deaconess in Romans 16:1 and insisted that women must submit to men because a woman was the first to sin in the garden of Eden. In 1998 Southern Baptist called upon women to “graciously submit” to their husbands, ignoring the fact that Ephesians 5:21 calls for mutual submission in the Christian home. Two years later, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message confession stated that women could not serve as pastors. All who work for the SBC as missionaries or as teachers in the seminaries must now affirm and teach these ideas about women.

Currently, in clear violation of local church autonomy, many associations are censuring or excluding churches that ordain women.

Can you conscientiously support all these changes?"








-

Anonymous said...

Native - You crack me up sometimes. Seriously.

Louis - I agree that is ironic information. It makes me really want to talk to Cecil now, although it's not possible.

By the way, I don't know what bellicose means so I hope it's not important. :)

SL1M

Wanda said...

Wade --

SL1M doesn't want me to direct any more comments toward him, and I will grant him his wish. Would you please give him a message for me?

Twice I have responded to what I consider to be immature comments. Furthermore, I didn't bring up Beth Moore -- he did.

I am quickly reaching the half-century mark, and I simply don't have time for this nonsense.

I'm ready for the next serious theological discussion.

Blessings to all!

Wanda

Anonymous said...

By the way, Rex - I can't recall specifically if there anything you and I don't see eye to eye on, although I'm sure there is, :) but I just want to say your ability to bring forth information is outstanding.

I also enjoyed the letters on your blog site. As a missionary, those notes have a different meaning for me now. Still pondering them my friend.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

." A CONFIDENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO FOLLOW THE WISDOM AND GUIDANCE OF GOD-APPOINTED LEADERSHIP WHETHER WE NECESSARILY UNDERSTAND OR AGREE. "

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born . . . . (from 'The Second Coming' W.B. Yeats)


God made man in His own image.
So we are told: now Man no longer needs God's guidance?

Just the fundamentalist leaders?

Which one among them is the new god?

Or maybe, the new 'rough beast'?

WHICH ONE? WITCH ONE?

Anonymous said...

Slim

'I don't know what 'bellicose' means...'

BELLICOSE: warlike

as in: belligerant: wanting to fight, argumentative, mean-spirited

Joe Blackmon said...

Anon
Regarding the letter by Prescott--
"Can you conscientiously support all these changes?"

Yes as they relate to the bible and women. Without one instant of hesitation. The sad thing is that the convention got to a point where it did not hold to those positions related to the Bible and the fact that only men are biblically qualified to be pastors.

Some of the rest of the letter was, well, a little left leaning in its explanation of the facts. I won't take the time to comment on it. But as to the Bible and the fact that the pastorate is for men only, yes, I can affirm that without a problem.

Anonymous said...

Wanda,

I would love to have a civil conversation with you about any of these issues. You are going to be surprised that we agree more often than not.

However, you said, "Furthermore, I didn't bring up Beth Moore -- he did."

Wanda, "bringing up" Beth Moore was not the problem. You insulting me, my wife, my children, my family, and Beth Moore by asking me if I'm married and if I am does my wife know I "look" at Beth Moore and then asking me who else I enjoy looking at.

Apparently I am the only that thinks that was wrong to say. I don't know and don't care.

What I do know is that I would like to call a truce. I sincerely feel like you owe me an apology, but I can't control that. However, I'll take your call for the next "serious theological discussion" and your "blessings for all" in it's stead.

I would like to offer you my respect and I ask for yours.

You have more experience :) than me as I'm only 43, but I don't want to waste anymore time on nonsense either.

Thanks for reading this in the spirit in which it was written.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

"Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book and dismiss whatever insults your own soul."
Mark Twain


Prof. Wimsey Dumbledorff

Anonymous said...

' Adrian Rogers (the first SBC president elected by the Patterson– Pressler coalition) said, “IF WE SAY PICKLES HAVE SOULS , THEY (seminary professors) BETTER TEACH THAT PICKLES HAVE SOULS. "'


Well, now we know.
What a RELISHING revelation from on high.

I think I'll go make some pickles.

Then the SBC can save their souls.

These people, their professors, and their pickles are beginning to get weird.

Anonymous said...

Slim,

You said, "I don't know and don't care."

How many of other people's wives have YOU insulted on this blog?"

Look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

You stated:

"Let me say that again: Those who demand that all Southern Baptists conform to their Fundamentalist views of Baptist Identity must be removed from leadership.

Why?

The Convention is built on cooperation (i.e. "The Cooperative Program), and demands for conformity disqualify any man who is to lead out in cooperation"

Good argument. Now, Wade,

WHAT'S THE PLAN?

How can these people who have disqualified themselves be removed?

WHAT'S THE PLAN?

help us.

Wanda said...

SL1M,

Now that we are on "speaking" terms again, I am Christian enough to say that I am EXCEEDINGLY SORRY if I offended you in any way. That was not my intent at all.

Pleasse accept my sincerest apology. There's enough opposition in the world, and Christians don't need to be going at each other. I'd rather be your friend than your enemy.

It would be very "Christian" of you if you would apologize to me for calling into question whether I am your sister in Christ. That was a very serious accusation on your part.

No hard feelings. I'm glad to know that you are my ally on some of these important issues. I look foward to being on the same team with you in future discussions.

I'm heading to our farm for the weekend, so I may be out of touch although I do have computer access there.

Take care, and please give my warmest regards to your wife and children.

Blessings,

Wanda

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

How do we change. People must blog about the issues.

People must be made aware of what is taking place in the SBC.

People must show up for Conventions, or as in the case of Oklahoma, begin moving toward regional conventions so that more people can participate in the process.

Elect like-minded leaders and hold those who are destroying cooperation accountable.

It won't happen over night, but the changes that have occurred in the last two years are encouraging!

wade

Dee said...

SLIM

I think I understand what Wanda is saying. It might be hard for you to understand but women have felt marginalized by the SBC. PP made a comment once."I love women, I think every man should own at least one." Well, har, har. He thought he was being funny but he has a bad history when it comes to women. Therefore, he can't make that statement and consider it a joke. It would be akin to me making a joke about an African American. Our civil rights history makes this insensitive.

As I read your comment, I actually understand where Wanda is coming from. Did it even occur to you that your first quip about all the women on this site might seem an attempt to marginalize this site?

Your second comment was equally insensitive. It was thoughtless to add your thoughts on Moore's attractiveness. You thought you were being cute. However, as a woman I was a bit uncomfortable with your remark. If you said this in many businesses, you could be sent to a sexual harrassment workshop.

It is difficult to understand your intentions when you write. We can't see your face and can't observe body language. It is incumbent to be carefully respectful. Your comments could make me wonder if you are passive aggressive. Saying something and then denying that it was your meaning and everyone else is wrong and silly to think you could have meant it.

Finally, you were not being accused of adultery. Goodness, you are over the top. She was obviously needling you to help you to see what you obviously (I hope)did not understand.

As for the YE/OE argument, here is the bottom line. Every YE thinks they have the perfect line to obliterate the other side. Believe me, there are many smarter than all of us who could refute your little pet proof. including death before the fall, etc. Frankly, I have intensely studied this issue and my husband, a scientist and doctor, was trained by Campus CRusade to debate atheists and evolutionists.He believes in OE.Before you think we haven't studies all sides of the issue, I have read just about everything on Ken Ham's site. I also am a fan of Francis Collins. Although I am not a fan of theistic evolution, I believe that Collins is doing more to reach militant atheistic scientists than Ken Ham ever could.He will soon be the recipient of the Nobel Prize. He is respected by scientists and they will listen to him.As John Lennox says"We convert them to believe in God. That is the biggest hurdle. Then, Jesus Christ is easier to believe". C S Lewis converted in this way.Ken Ham believeS the argument is the age of the earth and thereby misses the amazing thing that happens when a scientist first believes that God is possible.

We should embrace him and agree to disagree.However, as usual, we kick each other in the pants.We do this in so many areas-versions of the Bible, dispensationaism, calvinism, etc.And guess what? In the SBC we kick our own.I am fearful of the future. What comes next? Good women wear skirts? Reconstructionalism? Keep going. The SBC is approaching the Pharisees in its rules.
Dee

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your apology Wanda.

For the record, I asked if you were a Christian because I didn't think your comments or attitude gave evidence of it. Of course, the same could be said of mine. What's even more obvious is that we don't even know each other, so my apologies for calling it into question.

All is well in the souls of the forgiven.

Enjoy the farm.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

"You will have a nice chorus of "Amens" and be more like an Amway meeting than the church."

Dee, you have described the current environment on B issues perfectly. Well done. :o)


"With all these ladies you have commenting now, perhaps a blog name change is in order."

SL1M, that did not take long. You might want to stay away from here or your ‘biblical manhood’ might be threatened and Russell Moore will call you a wimp. I think lusting after Beth Moore is probably a sin since she sometimes has men in her audience. :o)

"That is WAY different than pastoring a church. She should not have been fired. That was wrong."

Joe, How many of the women missionaries that refused to sign the new 'creed' were pastoring a church on the mission field? None? Ok...

Why were they not allowed to disagree on the interpretation of a secondary doctrine while carrying out their duties? Perhaps the leadership was afraid they would secretly pastor a church on the mission field. It is one thing to control behavior but thoughts and beliefs on the secondaries? That is cultic.

"There is nothing in the BFM 2000 that is unbiblical but rather all items in that document are fully supported by clear biblical teaching" ...

Joe, why did they need to change it. Were we unbiblical all those years before?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Louis, Did the convention vote for the eternal subordination of Jesus Christ within the Trinity as proof of inherent male authority on earth to be taught in our seminaries?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - If you are going to write something that funny, you gotta sign a nickname at least.

Too funny.

SL1M

Not the anony-mouse looking to continue to cause strife, the one above it talking about the pickles.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

You said, "SL1M, that did not take long. You might want to stay away from here or your ‘biblical manhood’ might be threatened and Russell Moore will call you a wimp. I think lusting after Beth Moore is probably a sin since she sometimes has men in her audience. :o)"

I gotta tell ya, I have no idea what your talking about? Biblical manhood, Russell Moore, being a wimp?

But the word lust with a smiley face at the end got my attention. :)

Seriously though, I truly don't understand anything you said in there, but I think it's because I'm a lot further out of the loop then you think I am. I really wasn't involved in the SBC at all until maybe 4 years ago, so some of the names and issues past go right by me.

I've become very informed through this blog, especially with Rex posting all his info.

Take care,

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Chris:

I really do hear what you are saying. I just don't agree.

The denomination has a right to and does set doctrinal parameters for employees.

That is true as an objective fact, and it is logically, ethically and spiritually correct.

With some baptists the real disagreement is where to set the parameters.

But there are other baptists who believe that the denomination should not set doctrinal parameters for its employees.

To whomever posted the article by McClatchy and Prescott (sp?), it is so long and so partisan it would take me a long time to respond. I don't have the time today.

To all:

Hyperbole is a recognized form of speech that is used to make a point. It is an exaggeration that is usually recognized by the hearers as being impossible.

I learned this in English, I think in the 9th grade first.

So, when the reader encouters hyperbole, the goal is not to get caught up in the literal statement and get all lathered up about it. But to say, "what larger point is this the writer/speaker trying to make?"

Jesus used hyperbole: "It is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

I think (hope?) that we all see the hyperbole in that statement, and immediately understand that Jesus is not saying no rich person can enter the kingdom of God.

I don't remember Dr. Rogers making the statement about pickles and souls. But assuming he did, it is instantly recognizable as hyperbole.

Dr. Rogers was making the point that the denomination has a right to set doctrinal parameters for seminary professors and what it taught at SBC seminaries.

So, the mature reader/hearer will say, "Gee, is Dr. Rogers correct?" "Does the SBC have the right to set doctrinal parameters on what is taught at SBC seminaries?"

Those who have not yet grasped the nuance of hyperbole or forms of speech will get all bogged down on pickles and whether the SBC might issue such an edict.

To those who might be challenged by this simple concept, Dr. Rogers did not believe that pickles have souls or that the SBC would ever declare such.

I hope that is of benefit to some of you who stumbled on this concept.

For those of you who, after our short lesson, now get the joke and the point being made by Dr. Rogers, write and let us know.

I'll be "t"ickled to hear that! (almost a pun, which will be the subject of our next English class).

Robert Masters:

I, too, noted that no one will respond to your questions about the missionary societies that you mentioned. I don't know why that is.

I suspect that many do not know what in the world you are referring to.

I am afraid that the repertorie of some in the group is very limited (Ben Cole - where are you? Please come back if for no other reason than lively conversation) to about 3 issues, and no matter the question or blog topic, they start writing about the 3 issues they know. And if people don't agree, they keep writing, with the level of invective increasing with each comment. The in-person equivalent of 1) state my point, 2) state my point and pound my foot, 3) scream my point, 4) hold my breath 5) throw food.

The "throw food" level is usually reached when one of the following, or someting like it, is posted:

"You are stupid."
"You are ungodly."
"You don't care about people."
"God (really meaning, "I") will judge you one day."
"You are heartless."
"You are not a Christian."

Remember, when a post reaches this level of discourse, think to yourself, "Step 5 - Throw Food."

Without going through the organizations that you mentioned one by one I suspect that many old moderates would say that those organizations are Fundamnetalist.

Those organizations have doctrinal standards for their missionaries, so that would not be acceptable to those who believe that the denomination should not set doctrinal standards for denominational employees.

I hate to guess for everyone, Robert, but that's the best I can do.

Perhaps if you could rephrase your question to include even a meaningless, but clear reference to Paige Patterson or something like that. Maybe that will work.

Louis

Thy Peace said...

I have read portions of Paige Patterson comments in Southwestern News, Fall 2008 edition in the President's letter:

"As this issue of the Southwestern News will indicate, Bible-believing Christians have never believed that women are inferior to men."

"Those who rail against womanhood as taught at Southwestern, including the God-assigned roles for men, women, and children, not only usually misrepresent our position but also reveal their own hearts and unfortunately the status of the world that their views have produced."

"You will find no wimps at Southwestern."
-------------------------
Please note that the above quotes were pulled from a comment in this blog article of Christa Brown in Stop Baptist Predators:

Baptists should follow Episcopal example

Comments of RM

Wade Burleson said...

Robert Masters,

Do you consider societal based mission organizations like New Tribes,TEAM ,Crossworld,GEM, GMU,Worlteam,Pioneers; to be Fundamentalist?


Nope. They cooperate with evangelicals across the board.

They are conservative, cooperating evangelicals.

Blessings,

wade

peter lumpkins said...

Chris,

I am perfectly willing to disagree and leave it at that. Nevertheless, I fear we are not clear about that which we disagree.

You wrote to another these words which simply misses the point of my comment entirely:

"...I would have condemned Peter to Hell *for saying creeds may be good*. As I agree to disagree with him, I issue my statement of faith that *creeds aren't good* while acknowledging that he can serve the Lord just as well from *a more creedal position*..."

Chris, as best as my language could serve me, I wrote passionately about my concern about the troubles in our beloved SBC.

And, while I "hesitatingly" and "cautiously" conceded that *one* option which--whether or not it was the *best* option, I could not tell--may allow us a way out of this quagmire, is moving a quarter-inch closer from the norm, my norm being non-credalism.

Yet in the face of such passionate reserve, you place in my backpack rotten eggs by suggesting I said "creeds may be good". And that, consequently, I "can serve the Lord" from a decidedly "more creedal position." Such total lack of discernment of what I said near takes my breathe away, I'm sorry to say.

There is some historical good concerning creeds, I confess. But that is NOT what I said (CAPS for emphasis only). NOR did I imply I could hurry myself along in ministry, doing so from a "more creeedal position." Please consider reading this comment again.

My moral position is simple: during meltdown, the scenario about which I attempted to describe (but obviously failed) the SBC experiencing, conflicting absolutes require us to set aside the norm for a "higher norm", so to speak.

In this instance, the "higher norm" is SBC health and the "lower norm" is my personal philosophy toward confessions of faith.

If we were not in what I perceive a possible meltdown scenario, no conflict would exist. Hence, to remotely suggest what I said implied I would continue to serve "from a more creedal position" is patently misguided.

I hope that is clear.

Just a passing note--it was the PPL supporters milked so adamantly that cow (BF&M) not the other way around as you suggest. That is precisely the reason I took the position I did.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Dee,

"It took an Einstein to discover how ages could be squeezed into a day. The Laws of Relativity taught the world that the passage of time AND the perception of time's flow varies from place to place in our amazing universe." and "A minute on the Moon passes more rapidly than a minute on the Earth. A minute on the Sun passes more slowly."

I'm quoting from 'Permission To Believe' by Gerald Schroeder.

So, TIME is relative depending on WHERE you are in the universe.

Things to think about;
Space increasing in an expanding universe, so that the million-million compression, divided into 15 billion years ago, give us:
6 days. :)

Schroeder also comments: "Genesis AND science tell the SAME account, but seen from vastly different perspectives." and

"All ancient commentators (Jewish), those referred to as the Sages, tell us that the term 'day' refers to a duration of time; and that duration was 24 hours, regardless of whether or not there was a Sun.

Those first six days, they said, 'were no longer than the six daya of our work week, but they contained all the ages and all the secrets of the universe' ."

Schroeder is able to say that science and the Bible account AGREE. The Theory of Relativity is used to reconcile the two points of view. :) L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You theologues are way over my head on this one.

The Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a cherished baptist doctrine that is shared with many Christians througout Chrisitan history (though rejected by some "Baptist" teachers in CBF supported seminaries).

The BFM discusses the Trinity, I believe. I am quite comfortable with that.

I have never heard of the concept that this blog mentioned until I saw it on this blog a few days ago. I am completely unread in the field.

I suspect among trinitarian theories there may be various expressions of that and theological theories. This may be one of them, or it may be outside the bounds of orthodox conservative Christian doctrine. I simply don't know.

So, I will plead ignorance. It doesn't sound right to me at first glance, but I think to be fair I would want to read the proponents in their own writing and pose some of the good questions posted here.

Since I am ignorant about that, I am even more ignorant about how it relates to the family structure, which I take from the discussion is really a point of contention.

Regardless of where I might come out on this, assuming that I read and study enough to have a firm opinion, I don't think that it's going to affect how I treat my wife or how she treats me. The NT admonitions are pretty straightforward, but challenging enough to work through without addition some very, what I consider to be, esoteric theories about the Trinity.

If you can remember my various posts about my wife and children, we do not subscribe to a great many things that may be popular in some Christian circles today. That's not to put them down. But I think that we would not be model examples for some of the groups that you seem familiar with or concerned about.

That's the best I can do. I hope it makes sense.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"Those who have not yet grasped the nuance of hyperbole or forms of speech will get all bogged down on pickles and whether the SBC might issue such an edict."

Well Louis, You are talking to hicks with no teeth, remember? We are so glad you explained that Dr. Rogers really did not mean that pickles have souls. What would we do without you?

"Perhaps if you could rephrase your question to include even a meaningless, but clear reference to Paige Patterson or something like that. Maybe that will work."

Perhaps Mr. Masters of Geneva with all its magisterial glory is not read much anymore. After all, he is in Amway and might be trying to recruit us. :o)

Lydia

Anonymous said...

The Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a cherished baptist doctrine that is shared with many Christians througout Chrisitan history (though rejected by some "Baptist" teachers in CBF supported seminaries).

Nice subtle try, Louis. Won't fly. Anyone who reads up on this will find that what is coming out of SBTS and Grudem is lessening Jesus Christ for all eternity. Trying to connect those who disagee them to the CBF won't work.

There is no conservative 'us' vs. liberal 'them' on this. It is about our Savior for eternity. Not the Incarnate Jesus Christ.

There is a huge problem in our seminaries today with not being Bereans (or being allowed to be Bereans as Dee explained with the Amway effect) where thinking that anything that comes from Mohler or Grudem is Holy Writ. That is a very dangerous place. This is NO secondary doctrine. This is the big leagues. We need to pay attention.

Lydia

Steve said...

It is so good to hear all these comments from both sides of several issues in this busy place. I am still so tickled that the International Mission Board appears to have recovered from its hiccup or convulsion of the past three years that I figure the needling going back and forth will only result in progress and eventual unity in the cause of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Dear Slim,

I thought you all could use a laugh. It's been a bad day for some of you.

No problem signing. I'd be pickled pink to do so.

Mrs. Dumbledorff

Joe Blackmon said...

Lydia,

You're not going to change my mind. I'm not going to change yours. If I get to heaven first, I'll save you a porkchop at the table. If you get to heaven first, please save me a chicken thigh and some corn on the cob.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

You're not going to change my mind. I'm not going to change yours. If I get to heaven first, I'll save you a porkchop at the table. If you get to heaven first, please save me a chicken thigh and some corn on the cob.

Thu Oct 09, 07:22:00 PM 2008

Thanks for implying that disagreement on secondary doctrines is not a reason to disown each other or think one is a heretic. I could not agree more.

We will have some Rocky Road for dessert and never get fat. :o)

Lydia

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